Two Chicago police officers are in hot water over a racist photo they took with a suspect between 1999 and 2003. In the photo, officers Jerome Finnigan and Timothy McDermott were captured posing with a black drug suspect in a pose reminiscent of a hunter posting with a trophy deer. The picture is thought to be taken at the West Side police station with the unidentified drug suspect. When the photo was received by the police station in January of 2013, an investigation immediately went underway and McDermott was fired after the police board voted 5-4 against him remaining on the force.
According to the Huffington Post, Finnigan was already fired in 2011 due to his role in leading a team of officers in robberies and home invasions. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in 2011. McDermott, on the other hand, has remained on the police force since the photo was taken.
The Chicago Police Department superintendent, Garry McCarthy, was satisfied with the vote to dismiss McDermott. He stated that the behavior would not be tolerated and would receive the proper punishment.
“This picture is disgusting, and the despicable actions of these two former officers have no place in our police department or in our society. As the Superintendent of this department, and as a resident of our city, I will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and that is why neither of these officers works for CPD today. 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… Our residents deserve better than this, as do the thousands of good men and women in this department.”
Since his dismissal from the force, McDermott has been driving a truck to support his family, according to the Chicago Sun Times. He has filed an appeal with the courts to regain his position on the force, putting the blame for the photo on Finnigan.
“I do remember an incident where I took a photo with Finnigan and it appears that this is it. Finnigan called me over, told me to get in the picture and I sat in the picture. The photo was taken, and I went back to the business I was doing that day.”
McDermott has apologized for his role in the photo and feels that being fired is too strict of a punishment, especially since other officers have been slapped on the wrist for much worse.
The identity of the black male in the photo has been kept secret in order to protect him.
[Photo Courtesy: Huffington Post]