CHICAGO (CBS) — Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has filed administrative charges seeking to fire Officer Jason Van Dyke and four other police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.
The charges filed Tuesday with the Chicago Police Board seek the dismissal of Van Dyke, Sgt. Stephen Franko, Officer Janet Mondragon, Officer Daphne Sebastian, and Officer Ricardo Viramontes. CBS2’s Mai Martinez reports, Johnson wanted to fire six officers, however one, Van Dyke’s partner, Joseph Walsh, resigned Tuesday morning.READ MORE: RealTime Weather Alert: Wet and Windy Through Monday Morning, Flooding Possible
Van Dyke already is charged with first-degree murder for shooting McDonald 16 times in October 2014.
The charges against him accuse him of violating six departmental rules, including making false or misleading statements about the shooting, failing to inspect his vehicle’s dashboard camera and audio recording equipment on the night of the shooting, and refusing to answer questions from the Chicago Inspector General’s office.
CBS2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller says the charges could impact the first-degree murder case against Van Dyke. “They have a witness testified before the police board. That’s available to the defense attorneys, that’s available to the prosecutors at 26th and California. You never know what a witness is going to say.”
But just because Supt. Johnson has recommended all five officers be discharged from the department doesn’t mean they will be. That decision will ultimately be made by the police board.
The other officers also are accused of giving false or misleading statements about the circumstances of the shooting.READ MORE: Man, Woman Shot In Vehicle On Kedzie Avenue In East Garfield Park, Go On To Crash In Humboldt Park With Child In Car
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi released a statement Tuesday afternoon about the move to fire Van Dyke and the other officers:
“CPD is committed to ensuring the highest levels of integrity, accountability and professional standards for all members of the Police Department. After considerable deliberation and a methodical review of the evidence presented by the Office of inspector General, we have filed termination charges against the affected officers for giving false statements during the investigation into the Laquan McDonald incident. This matter will be now adjudicated before the Chicago Police Board and the Department continues to cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigations into this incident.”
Two weeks ago, the Police Department said Johnson would be moving to fire seven officers for lying about the circumstances of the shooting, after the inspector general’s office recommending firing 10 officers. However, two of the officers recommended for firing by the inspector general already had resigned or retired, and Johnson disagreed with the recommendation to fire another.
As for the officer Johnson did not agree about firing, Guglielmi said:MORE NEWS: Riggs, Kenosha County Sheriff's K-9 Shot By Chicago Homicide Suspect, Is Released From Veterinary Hospital To Applause
“Based on evidence gathered during the Office of Inspector General’s investigation, there is sufficient doubt that Officer Fontaine made certain statements that have been attributed to her in official CPD reports and an analysis has shown that there is insufficient evidence to prove that she willfully made any false statement. Due to the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations, we cannot comment any further.”