Chicago Fires Four Cops for Covering Up Laquan McDonald Killing

The dashboard video is clear.  In 2014, Laquan McDonald was carrying a knife, but moving away from police officers when they shot him 16 times.

The officers involved in his shooting claimed they feared for their personal safety, and the other officers at the scene backed them up.  It sounded like another violent interaction with the police, where a possibly dangerous person lost his life.

But that’s not exactly what happened.  Months after the incident, the Chicago Police Department bowed to intense pressure and released the dashboard video of the incident, which clearly showed McDonald moving away from the officers when they shot him 16 times.

The officer who pulled the trigger, Jason Van Dyke, was jailed for nearly seven years after being convicted of second-degree murder in October 2018.

He originally faced 20 years in prison for second-degree murder and up to 30 years for each of 16 counts of aggravated battery – one count for each shot he fired at McDonald, who was carrying a knife.

Several officers involved resigned, and now the remaining officers, who lied to cover up the incident or mislead investigators, have been fired.

The Police Board of the City of Chicago said in its 55-page decision:

“Each respondent’s misconduct is incompatible with continued service as an officer and warrants a penalty of discharge from the Chicago Police Department.”

Patrick Murray, the first vice president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, decried the panel’s decision, saying the four officers did nothing wrong.

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Comments (6)

  1. Chained

    Shouldn’t all four be imprisoned for 20 to life? So because you are a cop there are different rules on murder?

  2. John

    That’s all a human life is worth? If you conceal a murder, your punishment is just getting fired? Jason Van Dyke should have been sentenced to life at least. And the other officers that lied to cover for him should have been sentenced to jail also. How do the cops expect to get the respect of the people, if the cops are such liars!

  3. Stephen Koncz

    The police were doing their job in protecting the public from a menace. Why did it take multiple squads and personnel to isolate Laquan, when all he had to do was drop the knife and put his hands over his head and kneel. He would still be alive today. Were there other reasons as to his mental state not presented in a blood test and documented? Laquan sealed his own fate, and Good Police personnel are paying the price for doing their assigned jobs of Protecting the Public.

    • Tom

      I realize he had a knife, but he was backing up, and wasn’t an immediate threat, now if he was moving toward them, I could possibly understand them firing on him, but not if he was backing up, I think that every officer that shot him should be in prison.

  4. Bill

    I bet those fired cops will get their pensions. That is how screwed up Illinois is. I’d like to see a reporter dig into that. It will be covered up but I bet I’m right.

  5. Tom

    Will the ones who resigned be allowed to join other police forces somewhere else in the country? And do all of them get to keep they’re pension benefits? They should all have been charged as accessories after the fact and sent to prison. But different laws apply to police officers just like politicians.

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