A protestor demonstrates against the shooting of Laquan McDonald in front of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson during a news conference in Chicago, Illinois, United States, May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
Chicago's police superintendent is moving to sack five police officers who were involved in the fatal shooting and subsequent cover-up of 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald in 2014.Dash-cam video footage of the incident was released following a court order last November, and showed McDonald, whom police claim was armed with a knife, walking diagonally across a dark street. Moments later, you see a white officer – later identified as Jason Van Dyke – opening fire on McDonald, who falls to the ground. Van Dyke moves out of the camera's view, and you see McDonald's body, which jerks from continuing gunfire.
Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times in total. No officer is seen trying to provide emergency aid or assistance to the 17-year-old.
The video contradicted the testimony provided by the officers involved that McDonald made Van Dyke fear for his life by threatening him with a knife.It also sparked city-wide protests, and resulted in a rare indictment of a police officer. Van Dyke, who has pled not guilty, is facing charges of first degree murder.Now, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is seeking the removal of Van Dyke and four of his colleagues who are accused of providing false statements during the investigation into the incident.The four officers – Janet Mondragon, Daphne Sebastian, Ricardo Viramontes and Sergeant Stephen Franko – are also under investigation by a Cook County prosecutor, who has been tasked to determine whether their efforts to cover up McDonald's death are egregious enough to warrant criminal charges. All are accused of violating Rule 14, which prohibits law enforcement from making false reports.The Chicago Office of the Inspector General had initially recommended that 10 officers be dismissed in connection with McDonald's death. Three of those officers have retired or resigned in the last two weeks, the Chicago Tribune reported. A fourth – reportedly Van Dyke's partner, Joseph Walsh – resigned on Tuesday.The shooting, cover-up and video prompted a civil rights investigation and the formation of a Chicago Police accountability task force, which released a report earlier this year urging massive changes to fix a "broken system." Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also fired police superintendent in the wake of the video's release and replaced him with Johnson.