Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The head of the Chicago Police Department wants to fire the officers involved in the Laquan McDonald shooting

Jason Van Dyke

The head of the Chicago Police Department is looking to fire five police officers who were involved in the high-profile 2014 shooting of Chicago teen Laquan McDonald, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson filed the motion on Tuesday.

Jason Van Dyke, the officer who killed 17-year-old McDonald after he shot McDonald 16 times, is among the officers named.

Four other officers who gave statements about the incident that contradicted video evidence are also named.

Prosecutors have already charged Van Dyke with first-degree murder in the death of McDonald. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty.

Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson previously recommended police take disciplinary action to fire 10 officers after the shooting.

Some officers, including David McNaughton, the deputy chief who decided the McDonald shooting did not violate department policy, have retired amid the controversy.

"Officer Van Dyke fired his weapon in fear of his life when the offender while armed with a knife continued to approach and refused all verbal direction," McNaughton wrote in his report.

City officials withheld footage of the shooting for more than a year and only released it to the public after a judge's order in November, 2015.

Last year the Department of Justice stepped in to investigate the "patterns and practices" of the Chicago Police Department, The New York Times reported,as a result of the fallout from the McDonald shooting.

The shooting deaths of African-American men in other US cities have sparked federal inquiries into police use of deadly force nationwide.

The decision to relieve the officers comes after a report released by the Tribune last week that chronicled every officer-involved shooting in Chicago during the past 6 years.

Among other findings, data compiled in that report showed a majority of people shot by police during that period were people of color.

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