Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is seeking to fire seven officers , including the partner of Officer Jason Van Dyke, for allegedly lying in their accounts of what happened in Van Dyke’s fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Johnson originally planned to announce yesterday that he would move to fire eight of the 10 officers that the city inspector general had recommended for termination, but one of them then retired. Another, Deputy Chief David McNaughton, had retired on Monday.
Johnson decided not to seek the termination of another, saying he disagrees with the city inspector general’s recommendation to fire that officer. Sources said the officer who was spared is a woman. In a letter to rank-and-file officers, Johnson wrote: “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.” The Sun-Times reported earlier this week that Inspector General Joe Ferguson’s investigation also led to the retirement of McNaughton, who was in charge of the shooting scene. McNaughton had found that Van Dyke’s use of force was proper, saying that McDonald was approaching Van Dyke when he was shot and the officer was in fear for his life. Johnson’s predecessor, Garry McCarthy, told the Chicago Tribune about the firings, “I’m confused because … in 35 years of police work, I’ve never heard of proceeding with an administrative case when you have the criminal case pending.”