Officers in McDonald investigation received promotions

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The officer charged with shooting and killing Laquan McDonald has now been formally indicted. Jason Van Dyke is facing six counts of first degree murder and one count of official misconduct.

But as the case moves forward, there are questions about some of the senior officers involved in the investigation who recently received promotions.

The two officers were among those recently promoted by Interim Superintendent John Escalante in a shuffling of top brass at the police department.

The police department says they did nothing wrong, but others are questioning the message the promotions send.

When Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed Laquan McDonald in October 2014, the department's highest ranking officer on duty that night was Deputy Chief of Patrol Dave McNaughton. He was recently reassigned to be the Deputy Chief of Support Services.

Police reports show he was on scene that night, and in one report filed the next morning, McNaughton checked a box saying he had concluded that Van Dyke's actions "were in compliance with department procedures and directives."

Those reports have since proved to be untrue and Van Dyke has been charged with McDonald's murder.

Jon Loevy's law firm sued to get the McDonald video released.

“The police department has not taken seriously the problem that sometimes police officers write untrue reports to cover for misconduct and nothing happens. So, for as long as anybody can remember that happens with impunity,” Loevy said. “So, would it be any different this time?”

Also among those promoted was Eugene Roy. He was the Detectives Commander of the Area handling the investigation and has since been promoted to Chief of Detectives.

“My reaction is one of in a way shock,” said Flint Taylor of People’s Law Office.

A long time civil rights attorney, Taylor says the promotions are simply business as usual for Chicago Police.

“I think that it sends exactly the wrong message to the people of the city of Chicago, once again as this entire case has from the beginning to the present,” Taylor said.

But the police department says McNaughton's clearing of Van Dyke was only in relation to his actions up to the shooting, and the department has no authority to clear officers for a shooting incident itself. The reports are being changed to eliminate the confusion.

The department also made it clear that neither McNaughton or Roy were under any internal discipline, and so, were eligible for promotion.

FOX 32 was also told neither would have seen the video that night, and so any initial reports relied on information gathered by detectives on the scene.

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