Two white former officers from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) are under fire after a photo surfaced of them posing with rifles over a black man on his stomach, wearing deer antlers.
Although the photo was taken at a police station on Chicago’s West Side between 1999 and 2003 and federal investigators gave the photo to the city in 2013, it has drawn the ire of the public after a Cook County judge refused to keep the photo confidential, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
In the photo below, you can see former officers Jerome Finnigan, left, and Timothy McDermott with an unidentified man believed to be a drug suspect donning antlers.
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Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy moved to fire McDermott, but attorneys for both the police and McDermott asked Judge Thomas Allen to seal the photo earlier this year–and he refused.
McDermott was fired by the police board last year by a five-to-four vote. Those dissenting believed he should have only been suspended. The board said that “(McDermott) appearing to treat an African-American man not as a human being but as a hunted animal is disgraceful and shocks the conscience.”
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While McDermott is currently driving a truck to make ends meet, The Sun-Times notes Finnigan’s disposition and other facts about the case:
Finnigan and McDermott worked together in the Special Operations Section. But McDermott was not accused of criminal wrongdoing in a scandal involving the unit that led to it being disbanded in 2007 — and Finnigan and other officers being convicted of crimes.
Police investigators believe Finnigan and McDermott posed in the photo while McDermott was assigned to SOS between 1999 and 2003, when he became a detective, according to court records in McDermott’s case.
When the feds confronted Finnigan with the photo, he told them he and McDermott arrested the African-American man for having ‘20 bags of weed’ and the man provided them with the rifles, according to court records. The photo was taken in the tactical office of the Harrison Police District on the West Side, Finnigan said.
The department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs cannot identify the African-American man in the photo, however. Furthermore, the Sun-Times pointed out there is no arrest record involving the man, according to court records. The person who took the photo also has not been identified.
Finnigan told the FBI the man didn’t have a serious criminal background so they let him go without arresting him, a law enforcement source said, adding that the photo was taken in ‘the spur of the moment.’
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