Quantcast
Connect with us

Officer’s dashcam microphone ‘intentionally destroyed’ before Laquan McDonald shooting

Published

on

The microphone equipment for the dashboard camera in the cruiser in which Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was riding on the night he fatally shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald had been “intentionally destroyed”, according to maintenance documents first acquired by DNAinfo .

Related: ‘Nothing happens to the police’: forced confessions go unpunished in Chicago

ADVERTISEMENT

The records, which include service requests on hundreds of Chicago police vehicles, show that officers have routinely been involved in the intentional destruction and sabotage of body worn microphones that sync with dashboard camera video.

After the video of the Laquan McDonald shooting was released in November, it was discovered that as much as 80% of the department’s dashcam footage was missing audio. This was determined to be due to technical failure, human error or in some cases, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, “intentional destruction”.

William Calloway, a Chicago-based activist who was instrumental in obtaining the release of the Laquan McDonald footage, said the logs proved a premeditated effort by officers to avoid transparency.

“They are intentionally sabotaging this audio equipment because in their mind, they’re going to do something wrong or reckless when they’re outside on the beat,” Calloway said.

ADVERTISEMENT

He added that he was “absolutely not shocked or surprised about it at all”.

The records show that the dashcam in Van Dyke’s vehicle, 6412, was repaired on 17 June 2014, about three months after it was reported broken. The next day, the system was reported broken again. What technicians called “intentional damage” was not repaired until 8 October 2014, DNAinfo reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

On 20 October, the dashcam (and one in another car) recorded Van Dyke’s fatal shooting of McDonald. The next month, technicians noted the missing audio in the car’s footage and suggested “it is apparent from the uploaded videos that personnel have failed to sync the mics”.

In November 2015, after the video emerged, Van Dyke was charged with homicide .

At least six other vehicle records show technicians noting that officers had not synced their microphones. Thirty service records show cases where either mics were not synced correctly or had been “intentionally defeated”.

ADVERTISEMENT

More than 100 records show systems missing microphones, or having damaged systems with missing components like batteries and antennas.

Before the files were released, in December, Fraternal Order of Police president Dean Angelo scoffed at the idea that officers were intentionally disabling units.

“If they’re claiming officers are purposely breaking things, then where is the history of that? Are [officers] being written up? Does the department have documentation to back those claims up? I’d like to see it,” Angelo told DNAinfo.

ADVERTISEMENT

In December, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that before the McDonald video was released, some officers threw their microphones on to a station roof, apparently in protest about having to be recorded. A sergeant who saw the incident reported it to Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority.

The Chicago police department owns a long legacy of misconduct that includes torture scandals concerning Commander John Burge and Detective Richard Zuley, and the operation of the Homan Square “black site”.

The most recent scandal, over an apparent attempt to cover up the Laquan McDonald shooting, has resulted in a US Department of Justice investigation.

ADVERTISEMENT

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

RNC’s Ronna McDaniels scorched for calling Elizabeth Warren a ‘liar’: ‘Every word Trump utters is a lie’

Published

on

The Republican National Committee chairwoman faced swift backlash for calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a liar for claiming Native American ancestry.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly slurred Warren as "Pocahontas" to mock claims about her background, and the Democratic presidential candidate apologized Monday to Native American tribal leaders for any harm she had caused by promoting DNA test results to prove native ancestry generations ago.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel gleefully mocked the Democratic presidential candidate.

Elizabeth Warren by the numbers:

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s rabid fans will back his racist lies — but some might not appreciate him wrecking the economy

Published

on

Donald Trump's propaganda apparatus is mighty — much more resilient and effective than any of his business endeavors ever were in the decades before he ran for president. While most Americans haven't bought into Trump's lies — which are up to an average of 13 a day — his base of supporters, who have way more power, in our undemocratic system, than their actual numbers justify, gobble up every ridiculous assertion emanating from the Oval Office.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Paranoid’ GOP lawmaker who is obsessed with ‘Biblical War’ sought GPS devices to track adversaries: report

Published

on

Republican state Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane, Washington reportedly sought GPS devices and other spycraft to use against his political adversaries.

The revelations are part of a trove of emails obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

The paper said that Shea, who has connections to the Christian identity movement, believes that "Muslims, journalists and critics of all political stripes are 'supporting tyranny' if they don’t support his view that the United States is 'a Christian nation.'"

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image