Chicago Cops Posed Standing Over Black Suspect Wearing Antlers

Chicago Cops Posed Standing Over Black Suspect Wearing Antlers
CPD Chevy Tahoe Arvell Dorsey Jr. / Flickr CC BY 2.0

A photograph that shows two former Chicago Police Department officers wielding rifles and an African American suspect kneeling beside them wearing antlers was released by a court in Chicago.


The officers in the photograph, taken more than 12 years ago, are Jerome Finnigan and Timothy McDermott. While Finnigan is currently in jail, McDermott was fired last year by the police board with the majority of the board writing that “appearing to treat an African-American man not as a human being but as a hunted animal is disgraceful and shocks the conscience.”

McDermott is appealing his sacking in court. He drives a truck to support his family.

According to Chicago Sun-Times, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said that the photograph “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.”

The police investigators were handed the photograph by federal prosecutors in 2013, almost two years after Finnigan was sentenced to a 12-year imprisonment for leading a crew of officers in robberies and home invasions among other crimes.

According to USA Today, the publication of the photograph comes after a reparations package was approved by the city council to the African American victims tortured by police officers led by former police commander Jon Burge.

Torturous activities like mock executions, electric shock and beatings with telephone books were inflicted upon the victims by Burge’s police officers. As a result of this brutality that lasted from 1972 to 1991, a Chicago Police Department review board ruled that torture had been used; Burge was subsequently fired.

A $5 million payout was approved for Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by police, by the city a day after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced his support for the Burge reparations package.

Asked about the photograph, Mayor Emanuel said, “Good riddance.”

He added, “Let me be clear, that photo does not represent the values of the city of Chicago that we all share in common. It doesn’t represent the values of the Police department.

“To that individual, ‘Good riddance…You don’t belong in the Police department’. Our whole idea of the Police Department is to serve and protect.”

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  • Neva Kubik