Laquan McDonald shooting update: Chicago inspector suggests firing 10 police officers

Source: AP
Source: AP

Police departments don't have a long track record for rooting out the bad weeds. But the Chicago Police Department is getting a chance to prove otherwise, in the case of nearly one dozen officers involved in the 2014 fatal shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald.

The "Windy City's" inspector general, Joseph Ferguson, delivered a report to the department, in which at least 10 officers are recommended for termination, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed the department was reviewing the report, but did not say whether Superintendent Eddie Johnson would follow its recommendations.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is pictured in 2016.
Source: 
Scott Olson/Getty Images

News of the report came as Chicago police Deputy Chief David McNaughton announced his retirement, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He had been criticized for his determination that McDonald's shooting by officer Jason Van Dyke was in line with use-of-force policies.

Dash cam video released in November contradicted accounts by officers on the scene that the 17-year-old McDonald lunged at officers with a knife, on Oct. 20, 2014. The video shows the teen was walking away from officers before Van Dyke opened fire, hitting him 16 times.

Warning: The following video contains graphic images.

Source: YouTube

Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on Nov. 24, 2015. 

It's unclear if McNaughton's name was on Ferguson's list of officials, and the names of others were not available Tuesday. The inspector general's officer did not immediately respond to Mic's request for a copy of Ferguson's report on the McDonald case.

The dismissal of officers whose conduct results in a death has been among the demands of activists nationwide. During waves of anti-brutality protests in the last few years, activists decried how few members of law enforcement are held accountable for excessive and lethal uses of force.

Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke is pictured outside of a courthouse.
Source: 
Scott Olson/Getty Images

In some of the most recent and prominent cases of police-involved deaths, including the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City, and the police van injury of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, officers have either avoided prosecution or have been acquitted of wrongdoing.

Following the release of the U.S. Department of Justice's scathing report on discriminatory and unconstitutional policing in Baltimore Police Department, police Commissioner Kevin Davis announced that he had fired six officers. In February, the New York Police Department fired Peter Liang, following his conviction on an involuntary manslaughter charge in the 2014 shooting death of Akai Gurley.

While criminal justice reform activists aren't fixated on just seeing police officers lose their jobs, firing any of the officers in Chicago might change the narrative about holding officers to the highest standards.

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron is a Senior Staff Writer for The Movement at Mic. He covers the intersection of race, justice, politics, diversity and civil rights. He has previously written for IB TImes, Miami Herald, The Bergen Record of New Jersey and the Associated Press. Send tips to aaron@mic.com.

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