If you want to understand why, unfortunately, there is such a grave distrust in certain communities for police officers, two recent incidents in northern Illinois are eye-openers. At issue is the politically charged response of police unions to two controversial shootings.
The Chicago Police Board last week fired four police officers for allegedly covering up the tragic 2014 shooting by a white officer of black teenager Laquan McDonald. The nine-member board unanimously determined that the officers exaggerated the threat posed by the 17-year-old McDonald to justify his shooting by Officer Jason Van Dyke. The board voted to dismiss a police sergeant and three officers.
The decision appeared to have been based on the much-reviewed police dashboard camera video of McDonald’s death — he was shot 16 times while under the influence of drugs, walking unsteadily and carrying a knife — that contradicted the officers’ outrageous reports about the incident.