This October will mark five years since Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by then police officer Jason Van Dyke. He is serving the light sentence of 81 months in prison and finally the officers who reportedly covered up the 17-year-old have been fired from Chicago Police Department.
CNN.com reports Sgt. Stephen Franko, Officer Janet Mondragon, Officer Daphne Sebastian and Officer Ricardo Viramontes were “discharged from the Chicago Police Department.”
The Chicago Police Board wrote in the ruling, the officers violated their “duty by describing the alleged threat posed by Mr. McDonald in an exaggerated way, while omitting relevant facts that support the opposite conclusion. The overall impression based on this selective telling is both misleading and false.”
The board also wrote, “Indeed, taken on their face, the officers’ accounts depict a scene in which Mr. McDonald was the aggressor and Officer Van Dyke the victim—a depiction squarely contradicted by reality. Put simply, the officers wanted to help their fellow officer (Jason Van Dyke) and so described the incident in a way to put him in the best possible light.”
The board is described as “an independent civilian body that decides police disciplinary cases.”
The horrific video of the killing of McDonald showed former police officer Jason Van Dyke fired at the 17-year-old 16 times within 14 seconds. The video was released one year after McDonald’s death and showed the teen walking away instead of confronting officers, which is what Van Dyke falsely said happened. McDonald continued to be shot at even after he fell to the ground from the initial bullets.
Two police officers and one detective were acquitted of trying to cover up the shooting for Jason Van Dyke, even though that was precisely what they did. The three men all said Van Dyke, who was convicted in October, was justified in shooting the teenager 16 times within 14 seconds. Van Dyke’s partner the night of the shooting, even said: “McDonald was walking toward Van Dyke and with his arms raised when he was shot.” The video would later contradict that account, showing Walsh lied. Still, he and his co-defendants were acquitted.