Johnson made the decision because the officers’ accounts differed vastly from video taken the night of the incident, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The police department received criticism for taking over a year to release the video of Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times.
“The Department and its outside counsel have carefully reviewed the reports and supporting documents, videos, and other evidence and will accept the [Inspector General’s] recommendation to submit seven of the officers to the Police Board for separation based upon Rule 14 allegations outlined in the OIG’s report,” the department said in a statement. “The officers have been relieved of their police powers prior to the determination of the Police Board.”
Johnson chose not to fire an additional officer whom the Inspector General had recommended be let go. The Inspector General’s investigation into the shooting will continue.
“While I know that this type of action can come with many questions and varying opinions, please know that these decisions were not made lightly,” Johnson wrote in a Thursday message to officers, the Sun-Times reports.
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