Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy will recommend the Chicago Police Board fire Dante Servin, the officer acquitted in the 2012 shooting death of Rekia Boyd, less than a year after Chicago’s top cop said the officer should never have been charged in the 22-year-old’s death.
“After considerable deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that Officer Dante Servin showed incredibly poor judgement in his efforts to intervene in a low-level dispute while off-duty,” McCarthy said in a prepared statement. […]
In April, McCarthy said the charge brought against Servin — involuntary manslaughter — should never have been filed.
“Because of the way that played out, what you didn’t know is the defense and all the intricate details of that particular event. . . . If the details of that case were known, I think it would be a lot clearer” why no charges were warranted, McCarthy said.
Cook County prosecutors say a veteran Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times in an on-duty incident on the Southwest Side in October 2014.
Officer Jason Van Dyke turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning and is scheduled to appear in bond court at noon at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. […]
The charges would come less than a week after a Cook County judge ordered the release of the video, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration had long sought to keep out of public view. As Emanuel urged prosecutors to conclude their investigation Monday, he met with community leaders and aldermen to defend his handling of the controversy amid criticism that City Hall has not done enough to address police misconduct.
Ordered to release the video no later than Wednesday, the mayor called on religious leaders and activists to encourage peaceful demonstrations even as staff prepared for the public fallout and discussed the best way to unveil the video.
The charges is believed to be the first time in Chicago history an on-duty police officer is charged with such a crime.
And now you know why some cops allegedly erased private video of the shooting. If that had been made public last year in the aftermath of Ferguson… whew.
* Sen. Kwame Raoul…
When I learned that a video of Laquan McDonald’s final moments was to be released to the public, I knew that many would fear its impact, remembering the self-destruction oppressed communities elsewhere have experienced following acts of police brutality and excessive force.
I believe we can do better in Chicago. But I am not calling for calm. There’s nothing to be calm about. Instead, I’m calling for sustained, focused, constructive outrage that demands full accountability but doesn’t destroy community.
Because of legislation I advanced earlier this year, we now have legal protocols in place that mandate independent investigations of police-involved deaths, expose the misdeeds of rogue cops so they don’t quietly move from one department to another, require improved officer training on bias and the use of force and establish funding and protocols for the use of body cameras.
But I know it’s not enough.
Everyone responsible in this atrocity – not only Officer Van Dyke, but any individual who participated in a cover-up that delayed justice for Laquan McDonald and his family – must be held accountable. We should direct our outrage toward asking our local prosecutor whether it would have taken 13 months to resolve this case if the video had shown a civilian committing the same act. We should ask why Office Van Dyke was still on the beat after 17 public complaints were filed against him and the City paid half a million dollars to settle allegations that he had used excessive force. We should question the ability of Chicago’s independent police review authority, which has recent come under scrutiny from the Better Government Association, to do its job with integrity. And as we call on our neighbors to abandon the no-snitch code, in our outrage we demand the same of law enforcement.
Watch the video. Don’t be destructive. But don’t be calm.
* Meanwhile, Northwestern University law professor Max Schanzenbach has some ideas…
Give the police superintendent and the mayor the power to fire any officer for any reason that does not otherwise violate a general employment statute. Problem officers could not escape attention, and city executives could not pass the buck on discipline by pointing to an arbitrator or regulation. Internal human resources departments could monitor and discipline, free from constraining regulations and collective bargaining agreements. […]
A less dramatic reform would be to prohibit local governments from paying for officers’ settlements in civil rights cases. Instead, require officers to buy professional liability insurance, just as we require doctors to carry medical malpractice insurance. Officers with multiple complaints would see their premiums dramatically increase and would be priced out of employment. Liability may also reduce police resistance to cameras and other monitoring devices, which could help protect police officers from frivolous litigation.
Right now, the taxpayers are the insurer, paying for settlements and for lawyers.
More limited reforms would prohibit unions from bargaining over the monitoring of police behavior and would make arbitration subject to judicial review.
Our current system ensures that victims and taxpayers bear all the costs of police misconduct, while the vast majority of hardworking police officers have their reputations stained by the terrible, undisciplined actions of a few.
*** UPDATE 1 *** AP…
Gov. Bruce Rauner says Illinois State Police are working with Chicago officials to ensure people remain safe following the release of a video that shows a white police officer shooting a black teen 16 times.
Rauner said Tuesday his office has been briefed on the contents of the video that shows 17-year-old Laquan McDonald’s death in 2014. […]
Rauner says the video is “very troubling” and that he expects public reaction to be “strong.” But he says he hopes and believes the response will be “thoughtful and peaceful.”
The Republican declined to say whether he’s deployed additional troopers to Chicago or put the Illinois National Guard on standby.
*** UPDATE 2 *** And yet it took her a year to bring charges…
Cook County prosecutors said in court Tuesday that a Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder opened fire six seconds after exiting his squad car as 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was walking away from him.
Officer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 rounds at McDonald in about 14 seconds and was reloading when another officer told him to hold his fire, prosecutors said during bond court.
Judge Donald Panarese Jr. ordered Van Dyke held without bail until the judge can personally view on Monday a police dash-cam video of the shooting from October 2014.
While the kid was walking away.