Laquan McDonald-- Prosecute Lying Chicago Cops

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Mayor Emanuel -- Firing's Not Enough

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson’s attempt to fire seven Chicago Police officers who apparently lied to provide cover for killer cop Officer Jason Van Dyke’s murder of Laquan McDonald is the absolute least Chicago authorities must do—if there is to be any semblance of trust between Chicago Police and the city’s Black residents.

Firing them is not nearly enough punishment for these despicably dishonest officers.

Since their actions aided-and-abetted in the concealment of Officer Van Dyke’s murder of McDonald, shouldn’t they be charged accordingly?

In a letter addressed to Chicago Police officers, Supt. Eddie Johnson said “While I know that this type of action can come with many questions and varying opinions, please know that these decisions were not made lightly. As I have said before, with every decision that I make, I always keep in mind the tremendous sacrifice, bravery and commitment of every officer.”

On Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he supported Supt. Johnson’s decision to fire seven officers who lied about the killing of Laquan McDonald who was shot to death in cold blood, on Oct. 14, 2014—a murder that was captured on dash-cam video. When asked if the officers’ due process rights were being violated by Mr. Johnson’s decision, Mayor Emanuel said “I would say this is obviously an issue for the Police Department and I have confidence in the process the superintendent took and the general direction.”

When questioned about whether more Chicago Police officers should’ve been fired, the mayor answered cautiously.

"I'm not sure what to comment in the sense of more investigations. I think the superintendent took the right actions and that's why I support them," Emanuel said. "The last thing, I'm going to be cautious, because the mayor speaking up about what other investigations should be done. They'll be done on the merits and whether they're worthy.”

Alderman Roderick Sawyer, chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, praised Johnson for his quick action in seeking to fire these perjury-plagued officers.

“It’s a good start, a new beginning. It does a lot toward restoring the trust between the community and the police,” Sawyer said. “It shows other police officers that misconduct is not going to be tolerated any longer.”

However, Alderman Sawyer said he will not be satisfied until those in the police hierarchy, who did nothing—even after seeing the police dash-cam video—are held accountable as well.

“They should have verified that the reports were consistent with what occurred on the tape — from the supervisory personnel all the way up to the top brass. There should have been some red flag that they were not the same. Just to punt it to IPRA was not appropriate,” Sawyer said.

“Right after that tape was shown, they should have expressed outrage . . . A lot of this would not have been as inflammatory as it has been if they had come out immediately and said, ‘This was a bad act by a bad actor,’ as they did after the Paul O’Neal shooting. Had they done that, it would not have been the powder keg that it has been.”

Sawyer also lamented the fact that Rule 14—a rule on the books to punish police who commit perjury and who file false reports—has been non-existent in its use against officers who flagrantly break it.

Alderman Sawyer comments hints at the larger problem between police and the injustice Black Americans face from the hands of police. Indeed, if Chicago Police had arrested this cold-blooded murderer, they could’ve claimed Officer Van Dyke was just a “bad actor,” or as they like to tells just the actions of a “bad apple.”

Unfortunately, this case is but one example which clearly proves atrocities against African-Americans, by police, is not just a matter of a few rogue cops—especially when the many “good” cops are engaging in cover-ups, or, are complicit in the crimes of the “bad apples” by their silence.

Officer Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, had at least 20 complaints filed against him from citizens—including ten for excessive force; two involving the use of a firearm and one where it was alleged he used a racial slur. Moreover, in one case, a Chicago jury awarded a man $350,000—because they judged Officer Van Dyke did use excessive force in that case. However, this murderer was never disciplined for any of these complaints.

Why is there no accountability for police who abuse their power against Black people?

Any person, of conscience, who saw the Chicago Police dash-cam video of the killing of Laquan McDonald must know they saw a cold blooded murder. The dash-cam video reminds one of a horrific snuff film video. Are we to believe that all the Chicago Police officers who were present when Officer Van Dyke pumped sixteen shots into McDonald—as well as those who saw the video after the fact—didn’t know this was murder?

The official police report stated that the shooting of McDonald was justified and within the bounds of the use of force. These police officers brazenly lied by claiming that Mr. McDonald “raised the knife” and pointed it in Officer Van Dyke’s direction, as if he was about to lunge at the officer, and was acting “crazed.”

Didn’t the Chicago Police supervisors, who found this shooting justified, know that this police narrative was false? Are we to believe they never say the dash-cam video of this murder before the claimed this killing was justified? Did they not see any abnormalities between the facts contained in the autopsy reports and the fictitious fables their officers were telling them?

The cover-up of this crime by the Chicago Police represents a gross miscarriage of justice—and a willful violation of the public trust, that, many still naively feel the police embody, for everybody. These police officers not only lied, they apparently also concealed evidence. For example, the manager of a Burger King franchise that is in close proximity to the location of the murder accused police of erasing portions of the security tape—most likely, those parts showing the callous murder of this young man by Officer Van Dyke.

As if the cover-up by the Chicago Police wasn’t bad enough, we must also consider the curious connection of Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez to this unconscionable state of affairs. What did she know and when did she know it? In the over a year that it took for the dash-cam video to be released, when did she first gain access to it?

In a time when we are witnessing systemic institutional racism across the country throughout America’s police departments, the circumstances revolving around the Laquan McDonald murder by Officer Jason Van Dyke in Chicago is worst on so many levels.
The murder of McDonald was bad enough—but the cover-up here is an astounding testament to the scandalously corrupt culture of cops. The lies these Chicago Police officers told—especially, in light of the existence of the dash-cam video—is insightful into the outrageous lengths officers go through to protect one another in maintaining their “Blue Wall.”

Unfortunately, what this tell us is that: reforming America’s police departments will not be enough to change the bestial behavior of these police officers who kill Black people with indiscriminate impunity.
America’s police must be radically restructured to stop their killing of Black people.

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