More Trials and Disciplinary Actions Pending For The Murder of Laquan McDonald
Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke has been found guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery using a firearm in the 2014 death of Laquan McDonald. However, Van Dyke still faces Administrative Disciplinary actions and other officers on the night that Laquan was murdered also face criminal charges or disciplinary actions.
When it is said that the verdict in the murder trial of Jason Van Dyke was a victory, it not only pertains to that verdict, but the pending criminal cases and disciplinary allegations against others who were present that night, or in charge of investigating.
Three others are facing criminal charges.
Five are facing disciplinary actions pending the completion of Van Dyke’s trial.
Three with pending administrative actions have retired.
Here is the list of what remains;
Van Dyke faces disciplinary allegations that he made false statements and omissions during interviews, failed to testify when called upon to do so, filed false reports, was incompetent in the performance of duty and failed to follow CPD rules for dash cam video. Chicago Superintendent Johnson has recommended that Van Dyke be discharged from the Chicago Police Department.
Officer Joseph Walsh, who was Van Dyke’s partner has been charged criminally for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct. He also faces disciplinary allegations of making false statements during interviews, filing false reports, and failure to follow Chicago Police Department rules for video. Walsh left the Chicago Police Department after city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson recommended he be fired following his investigation into the shooting. Walsh had a case against him in 2012 where the city paid out a settlement.
Officer Thomas Gaffney was the first car to respond to the scene. Gaffney has been charged with felony conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct. He was suspended without pay.
Detective David March was the lead investigator in the case. He has been charged with felony conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct. Along with the criminal charges, disciplinary allegations are pending against March for making false statements in reports, and failure to document investigative interviews. March left the police department after Inspector General Ferguson recommended his firing.
Those Facing Disciplinary Actions
Sargent Stephen Franko was the Sargent on the scene. He is facing disciplinary allegations for reviewing and approving false reports; disobeying an order or directive and failure to take action over the dashcam systems. Superintendent Johnson recommended that Franko be discharged. As of the summer of 2016, Franko was suspended without pay but in June 2017 was placed back on the department’s payroll, His disciplinary proceeding was delayed until after Van Dyke’s trial.
Officer Janet Mondragon was on the scene. She is under disciplinary allegations for making false statements during interviews, disobeying an order or directive, incompetency in the performance of duty, and failure to follow Chicago Police Department rules for dashcam video. Superintendent Johnson recommended Mondragon’s discharge from the Chicago Police Department. Mondragon was suspended without pay in the summer of 2016, and put back on the department’s payroll in June 2017 pending completion of Van Dyke’s trial.
Officer Daphne Sebastian was an officer at the scene. She is facing disciplinary allegations of making false statements during an interview, disobeying a direct order or directive, incompetency in performance of duty and failure to follow Chicago Police Department rules for dashcam video. Superintendent Johnson recommended discharge from the police department. Sebastian was suspended without pay in the summer of 2016 but was placed back on the payroll in June 2017 pending the completion of Van Dyke’s trial.
Officer Ricardo Viramontes was an officer at the scene. He faces disciplinary allegations of making false statement during interview. Superintendent Johnson’s recommendation is discharge from the Chicago Police Department. Viramontes was suspended without pay in the summer of 2016, but was placed back on the payroll in June 2017 pending the completion of Van Dyke’s trial.
Sargent Daniel Gallagher was Detective March’s Supervisor on the night of the shooting. He faces disciplinary allegations of making false statements in reports and failure to manage the investigation. Gallagher resigned from the department in August 2016.
Those who retired since the shooting;
Lieutenant Anthony Wojcik. He was Detective March’s Supervisor.
Deputy Chief David McNaughton was the highest ranking officer at the scene. He faced disciplinary allegations of approving false reports, making false reports, and giving false statements to police news affairs. He retired.
Chief Eugene Roy was second in command on the scene. He faced disciplinary allegations of failing to manage the investigation and allowing false reports to stand.
Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, was terminated by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in December 2015, a few days after the dash cam video was released to the public. The day before jury selection began in Van Dyke’s trial, Mayor Emanuel announced that he would not seek a third term in office.
There are currently 17 candidates running for the position of Mayor, among them none other than Garry McCarthy. While a number of mayoral candidates have made police reform an issue on their platform, McCarthy contends that his policing style made Chicago safer. Others say that he encouraged the kind of aggressive cop culture that led to Laquan’s shooting taking place. There will be a run-off election in February.