CHICAGO (CBS) — The public now knows the names of the five Chicago police officers accused of lying about the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. But tonight, as Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson seeks to fire them, CBS2’s Audrina Bigos reports on more about what they said.
All five officers are now suspended without pay. Not only are they accused of lying, most of them were found at fault for failing to make sure the audio and video was working on their in-car cameras.READ MORE: Northwestern University Bans All Social Activities At Campus Fraternities Until At Least Mid-October After Reports Of Drugging
The video of the shooting, released late last year only after a judge’s order, prompted protests accusing police of a cover-up in the 2014 fatal shooting of the 17-year-old McDonald.
But today, the charges outline the contradictions. What officers said, versus what the public has seen on the video.
“When you have everyone talking about the code of silence within the police department, this is a perfect example of what this code of silence is all about,” said CBS2 Legal Correspondent Irv Miller.
According to the charges Johnson filed with the police board, Officer Jason Van Dyke said McDonald “continued to advance”…. “raised the knife across his chest”… “attacking” him… and attempting to kill him.
But the video shows McDonald walking across the street, away from officers.READ MORE: Evanston Police Called To A Stabbing, Fatal Shooting Incident
“I think it’s going to be pretty easy for the police board to say, listen, somebody falsified these reports,” Miller said.
The four other officers charged echoed Van Dyke’s account of the shooting. They were Officer Janet Mondragon, Officer Ricardo Vramontes, Officer Daphne Sebastian and Sgt. Stephen Franko. They are all charged with saying “false, misleading and/or inconsistent statements.”
But even if the police board says the officers should be fired, that doesn’t mean it’s the end, Miller says. The officers can appeal to a circuit court.
“This could take months, if not years,” Miller said.
The first hearing for these cases will be Monday, Sept. 19, as Van Dyke faces a first-degree murder case.MORE NEWS: Family Remembers Azul De La Garza, Young Woman Shot And Killed In West Elsdon, As 'Beautiful Soul' With A Future In Art