Chicago Police Board Fires 4 Cops For Laquan McDonald Shooting

A civilian police board voted to fire a Chicago police sergeant and three officers on Thursday night.

Chicago, IL – A Chicago police sergeant and three fellow officers have been fired for allegedly trying to cover up for now-former Officer Jason Van Dyke after he fatally shot a PCP-fueled teen armed with a knife in 2014.

In January, Van Dyke was sentenced to 81 months in prison for second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the fatal shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Three of Van Dyke’s fellow officers were criminally charged for allegedly falsifying police records in efforts to cover for Van Dyke, but a judge ultimately found them not guilty, CNN reported.

In the verdict, the judge found that not only was their no indication that the officers made no attempt to cover up evidence, but "the evidence shows just the opposite," because the officers preserved evidence which ultimately led to Officer Van Dyke's conviction.

The civilian-comprised Chicago Police Board made the decision to fire four different officers on Thursday night after carefully picking apart details of their reports for anything which could be inaccurate, WBBM reported.

There wasn't enough evidence to bring criminal charges against any of the officers, according to NBC News.

Chicago Police Sergeant Stephen Franko was accused of approving the three officers’ reports about what occurred that night, even though they allegedly contained “misleading and false” information, according to WBBM.

At least one of the reports he approved falsely indicated that Officer Van Dyke was injured by McDonald during the encounter, NBC News reported.

According to the board, Officer Janet Mondragon, Officer Ricardo Viramontes, and Officer Daphne Sabastian all “depict[ed] a scene in which Mr. McDonald was the aggressor and Officer Van Dyke the victim – a depiction squarely contradicted by reality,” CNN reported.

“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 alleged.

The board found that the three officers “failed in their duty – either by outright lying or by shading the truth,” WBBM reported.

“All three patrol officers violated that duty by describing the alleged threat posed by Mr. McDonald in an exaggerated way, while omitting relevant facts that support the opposite conclusion,” the board ruled.

According to the board, Officer Viramontes told a detective that McDonald was still holding a knife and tried to get up and move after he was shot, but video footage from the scene contradicted his account, NBC News reported.

Officer Mondragon told investigators she was putting her patrol vehicle into park when the shooting occurred, and said she hadn’t seen what had happened, the board said.

The board ruled that she was lying because video footage showed her patrol vehicle in motion during the first four seconds of the officer-involved shooting.

Officer Sabastian was fired for allegedly failing to explain the “precise” timing of the events she witnessed when the shooting occurred, including failing to note that McDonald was walking away from some of the officers at the time.

The civilian board voted unanimously to fire Sgt. Franko, Officer Mondragon, and Officer Viramontes, and voted 8-1 to fire Officer Sebastian.

The board’s decision went into effect immediately, but the now-former sergeant and officers have the right to appeal the matter in Cook County Circuit Court.

"The department is bound by the decision of the board," Chicago Police Department spokesman Thomas Ahern told ABC News on Thursday night. "The affected members have further options they may exercise if they so choose."

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Second Vice President Martin Preib blasted the civilian board’s decision, and said it would “no doubt lead to more violence in the city and quite likely more violence against the police,” ABC News reported.

"These officers served the citizens of this city with courage, integrity, and adherence to the rule of law," Preib said. "Too bad you couldn’t do the same."

The fatal shooting occurred at about 9:45 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2014, when Chicago police responded to a report of a teenager breaking into vehicles in the 4000-block of South Karlov Avenue, Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Pat Camden told WLS at the time.

The suspect, later identified as McDonald, slashed the front passenger tire of a patrol SUV, damaged the vehicle’s windshield, and took off on foot, police said.

Officers intercepted the armed suspect in the 4100-block of South Pulaski Road and ordered him to drop the knife, but he refused.

According to the Chicago Tribune, police said McDonald was under the influence of PCP at the time of the incident.

During the trial, Officer Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, said that the incident was "a tragedy that could have been prevented with one simple step," the Chicago Tribune reported.

Herbert then dropped the knife McDonald had been carrying that night onto the courtroom floor.

"At any point throughout that 20-something minute rampage, had Laquan McDonald dropped the knife, he'd be here today," Herbert declared.

Dashcam footage showed McDonald as he jogged down the middle of the roadway towards a police cruiser.

He then walked around the first patrol car and veered into the traffic lane, as officers moved towards his left side, the video showed.

During the trial, Officer Van Dyke’s partner, Officer Walsh, reenacted how McDonald swung the three-inch blade behind his back and up to shoulder-height just before he was shot, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The dashcam video also did not show how events unfolded from Officer Van Dyke’s perspective, and should not be the only piece of evidence utilized to understand what occurred, his attorney noted.

But Officer Walsh was in close proximity to Officer Van Dyke during the incident, and testified that McDonald posed a risk to their safety and that they had a reason to be afraid, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"At 9:57:36, McDonald has crossed over the white lane divider away from the officers, and Officer Van Dyke has taken at least one step towards McDonald with his weapon drawn," Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said in November of 2015, after Officer Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder, according to WLS.

"[Officer Van Dyke] then opened fire on Laquan, whose arm jerks, his body spins around and he falls to the ground,” Alvarez said. “While Laquan is falling to the ground the defendant takes at least one more step towards him.”

At that point, the patrol car where the dashcam was mounted moved to the right, cutting Officer Van Dyke out of the frame.

“Two seconds later, Laquan McDonald is lying on the street on his right side, and the video captures what appears to be two puffs of smoke coming from the ground near his body,” Alvarez said, according to WLS. “These puffs of smoke were later identified as clouds of debris caused by the fired bullets.”

“At 9:57:51, McDonald is still lying on the street and the last visible shot is fired,” she said.

According to prosecutors, Officer Van Dyke was beginning to load another magazine into his duty weapon - as he was trained to do - when his partner told him to cease fire.

The second officer then walked toward McDonald, and kicked his knife out of reach.

An autopsy revealed that McDonald was shot in the back of his arms, his right leg, and multiple times in the chest, WLS reported.

He was shot 16 times, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Of the eight officers on the scene, it was only the defendant who fired his weapon,” Alvarez said. “[Officer Van Dyke acted] without legal justification and with the intent to kill or do great bodily harm” when he fired the fatal rounds.

Herbert argued that his client was forced to make a “split-second” decision in a dangerous, fluid situation.

"The judgement made by individuals that view this tape from the comfort of their living room on their sofa, it's not the same standard as the perspective from my client,” Herbert told WLS. “People viewing this video tape will have the brilliance and benefits of hindsight, 20/20 vision."

Prosecutors argued that Officer Van Dyke should have used less-lethal means to stop the armed teen, and said he could have waited for another officer to arrive with a Taser or used his vehicle to gently tap him, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Van Dyke was convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery and second-degree murder on Oct. 5, 2018.

McDonald was on probation and was a ward of the state at the time of his death, according to WLS.

In April of 2015, the Chicago City Council awarded a $5 million settlement to McDonald’s family, the Associated Press reported.

Comments (51)
No. 1-25
ManBearPig
ManBearPig

Good riddance!! To everyone that still thinks it was justified can stand in the unemployment line with them!

LynnSB
LynnSB

ANOTHER GHETTO FAMILY LOTTY WINNERS !!! RE: McDonald was on probation and was a ward of the state at the time of his death, according to WLS. In April of 2015, the Chicago City Council awarded a $5 million settlement to McDonald’s family, the Associated Press reported.

DC-TX
DC-TX

But why did you shoot him 16 times??? Because I ran out of bullets.

DC-TX
DC-TX

But why did you shoot him 16 times??? Because that's all my magazine would hold.

DC-TX
DC-TX

But why did you shoot him 16 times??? Because I ran out ... but I was trying to reload.

Grampsdeal
Grampsdeal

There should never be civilian oversight. They know nothing of the fluid situations. They do not have the training or experience to make these kind of decisions. This was a dreg of society and through his own actions was put down.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

This sounds more like a political decision than anything else; emotional outrage from the community not based on any actual facts.

There isn't proof to show any criminal cover-up occurred; in fact, it's quite the opposite, as per the judge. But because someone is dead, many people need to pay, so the civilian review board needs to eliminate as many people that were involved as they can, even if they didn't do anything wrong. They were looking for reasons to fire these cops before the kangaroo court even started; hopefully all 4 appeal and are reinstated to their former positions.

Bobby1874
Bobby1874

All part of B Hussein Obama's legacy the emboldened thugs and the war on cops. 

Get ready for the results of  de-policing and officer's shifting into survival mode in a hostile political environment that is evident more and more each day.

Democrat liberal utopias and sanctuary shitholes

When liberals rule criminals drool

You show me a crime infested shit hole and I'll show you the Democrats in charge

BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

If blacks think it's acceptable to have PCP crazed people running around with a knife then good. You keep them in your neighborhood and deal with it yourselves. You know if some gang thug had shot Laquan no one would give a shit

question evrything
question evrything

a good start!

now maybe we can hold cops accountable for there actions!

question evrything
question evrything

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Second Vice President Martin Preib blasted the civilian board’s decision, and said it would “no doubt lead to more violence in the city and will likely be more violence by the police,

61mouse
61mouse

Now these 4 can't go with the 12 on Philly who got fired and go to a department that will want and back their officers . So actually ALL these changes cops are getting the better end of deal .

pbm4jc
pbm4jc

Let the oversight board walk the beat one night a month. I want to see how many bullets they will fire when faced with a drug induced crazy teens with knives like McD. "A gentle tap" with a patrol car? Give me a break.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Every time they make a decision like this it will lead to less proactive enforcement and less officers applying to a department that will gladly make an example of you to appease the public (blacks, that is). And five million dollars to the family of a drug fueled criminal!? What genius decided that ghetto lottery award?

Gramercy
Gramercy

What the police did was wrong..and the law works for ALL PEOPLE.ir at least should. Falsifying reports just adds to the aggravation of the killing. No excuse for that from the police.

Mama1959
Mama1959

Why did they get money if he was a ward of the state????

tfort
tfort

Here is an idea. DON’T LIE. Be honest and you will keep your job.

artw44
artw44

I wonder how many people who are arm chair judging this officer who shot this kid, have ever encountered somebody who is having a bad reaction to PCP? I would bet not one of them. Hit him with a tazer and it's just going to piss him off. Makes you wonder why we have a single cop left to patrol our streets?

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

Here’s an idea Chicago; Fire all the real cops and instead hire thugs and drug dealers to take their place. See how that works for you. Tell me why anyone would want to be a LEO IN THAT SHIT CITY.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

These po-po's lied. That was extremely naughty of them. The civilian review board was correct in terminating their employment because of their naughtiness.

KaelWallace
KaelWallace

If he was a "ward of the State", then his family are not entitled to anything.

Patriot1midwestern
Patriot1midwestern

This smells like a multi million dollar lawsuit, once again the city of Chicago can't afford to pay.....

kgolfinghawaii
kgolfinghawaii

The fact they fired the Sgt makes zero sense to me. He approved their reports, so what? He wasn't on the scene when anything occurred. I'll bet he hadn't seen any of the video by the time the officers submitted their initial reports either. They said what they said, it is not his job to decide if what they said was accurate or not. And then a judge decided they did not falsify their reports. I surely hope every single one the the idiots on that board face criminals face to face before they leave this planet, violent armed ones just to make sure they compare apples to apples. And I also hope that for all the turds on here that only believe the thugs and never the police.

question evrything
question evrything

Officer Van Dyke got 6 years, 9 months for his CRIMES! good job jury! of coerce it is not long enough. but is a start. now if we can get the rest of the dirty cops in prison, we will be a lot safer!

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

“Civilians” deciding the outcome of a police matter. With no law enforcement training. No job knowledge. No street knowledge of police work, what is this world coming to? I bet it’s a bunch of rich people who have nothing better to do with their days but to stick their opinions into something they know nothing about. That’s how it usually goes.