A disturbing photo showing two white Chicago police officers posing over a black man with antlers was recently published in a local newspaper, sparking yet another public outrage over racially motivated police abuse. According to the Chicago Police Department, the two officers involved have already been fired, but one of them wants his old job back.
The two officers, identified as Timothy McDermott and Jerome Finnigan, are standing over an African-American drug suspect whose identity has not been revealed so far. The black man is wearing antlers on his head and is shown posing as a wild animal.
“I fired one of the officers and would have fired the other if he hadn’t already been fired by the time I found out about the picture,” Chicago Police spokesman Garry McCarthy told reporters, arguing that the photo was shocking and disgraceful for the police force.
The photo, published in the local newspaper The Chicago-Sun Times, is believed to have been taken somewhere 1999 and 2003, and in the meantime both the men involved have been dispatched from police service. However, the police board didn’t see he picture until 2013, when they eventually decided to fire McDermott.
But the former police officer has appealed the decision in court, hoping to regain his position in the department. In fact, the newspaper obtained the photo from the prosecutors, despite the best efforts from McDermott’s lawyer to keep the piece of evidence secret.
Dan Herbert, one of the attorneys, suggested that the photo should not be taken lightly, as there is no evidence that the black man was coerced in any way to take the picture. However, the preliminary investigation suggests that the African-American was a drug suspect who was arrested by the two former officers and released soon after posing as a wild animal.
As for McDermott’s return to the police department, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is strongly against the idea. “As far as I’m concerned, to that officer: Good riddance. You don’t belong in the Police Department,” the mayor said, explaining that the image goes against the most basic values the idea of police stands for.
As far as concerning Finnigan, the other former officer involved, he is already serving a sentence of 12 years in prison after he was found guilty of plotting to kill another officer, besides robberies and other crimes. One thing still remains a mystery, though: who took the picture?