US & Canada

Laquan McDonald death: Seven Chicago police face the sack over teen death

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a news conference on 16 June. Image copyright AP
Image caption Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called for termination of seven officers over Laquan McDonald death

Chicago's police superintendent has recommended firing seven officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson called for their removal after a report concluded the officers made false statements.

The death of McDonald, who was shot 16 times by an officer in 2014, sparked an outcry in a city already mired in police and community tensions.

The Police Board will make a final decision on the officers' termination.

Mr Johnson also stripped the seven officers of their police powers.

Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder late last year after dashcam footage appeared to show Mr McDonald moving away from officers, contradicting police accounts.

Mr Van Dyke, the only officer who fired his gun in the incident, has pleaded not guilty.

Police released the dashcam footage in November after Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration fought to withhold the video for a year before a judge ordered its release.

The long-delayed footage prompted public backlash and mass protests, culminating with dismissal of the police chief and a Justice Department investigation into the Chicago Police Department's use of force and practices.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chicago's police superintendent strips seven officers of their police powers

The superintendent's announcement comes after the city's Inspector General Joseph Ferguson delivered a report on the shooting, recommending the termination of eight officers, according to Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman.

The department said it did not believe there was enough evidence against the eighth officer to warrant his firing, Mr Guglielmi said.

Two other top officers involved in the case have retired since the fallout of the McDonald case.

Anthony Wojcik, a lieutenant involved in the shooting response, retired in May, while David McNaughton, a deputy chief who ruled the shooting was in line with department policy, retired earlier this week.

"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," Mr Johnson wrote to the police.

"It is my belief that through these challenges we can take the lessons learned to become a better department and in turn, give you additional resources to do your jobs effectively."

Mr Johnson did not release the names of the officers he is calling to fire, but many of the officers were at the scene of the shooting.