4 cops at Laquan McDonald shooting suspended for faulty dashcams

In this image from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald, right, walks down the street moments before being fatally shot by officer Jason Van Dyke sixteen times in Chicago. (Chicago Police Department)

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has suspended four officers who were at the scene of the Laquan McDonald shooting in 2014 for not ensuring their dashboard cameras were working properly.

In a quarterly report released Wednesday, the Office of Chicago’s Inspector General said it: “issued findings and disciplinary recommendations of suspension for four other officers, on the basis of which the Superintendent issued one week suspensions for each of the four individuals.”

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed Johnson had suspended the four officers — who were not named — for one week each as punishment for not ensuring their dashboard cameras were working properly on Oct. 20, 2014.

It was not known Wednesday night when the suspensions were to be served or specifically how the cameras malfunctioned.

Five dashboard videos taken from different angles at the scene of the Laquan McDonald shooting have been released.

None recorded any audio, including the graphic video that shows Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the 17-year-old 16 times as he walked away from police holding a knife. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder and is currently awaiting trial.

The inspector general’s office had initially recommended discipline for 15 officers who were at the scene of the Laquan McDonald shooting. The four who received weeklong suspensions were the last of those 15 to be disciplined.

Based on those recommendations, Johnson moved to fire five of those cops, including Van Dyke. Their cases are pending before the Chicago Police Board.

Not all those recommended for discipline by the inspector general were formally punished, though.

In a Dec. 8, 2016 lawsuit, the city’s Inspector General, Joe Ferguson, said: “The Superintendent disagreed with OIG’s findings and disciplinary recommendation respecting one officer and permitted five of fifteen to resign or retire prior to formal action on OIG’s findings and discharge recommendations.”