Until now, the handling of the 2014 fatal officer-involved shootings of Mr. Laquan McDonald of Chicago and Mr. Brandon Tate-Brown of Philadelphia were strikingly similar. In addition to the victims being young black men who were unarmed and not facing their killers when gunned down, facts of the two shootings were suppressed to fit a convenient narrative, one that painted the White cops as vulnerable to black rage.
Observers of both cases have accused officials of cover-ups, and, given the circumstances – false police reports filed and resistance by government to release video evidence – the accusations are almost impossible to genuinely refute.
Before today, the biggest contrast of note between the two cases is that Mr. Jason Van Dyke – who shot and killed then 17 year-old Mr. McDonald – had been suspended without pay and is awaiting trial on murder charges, while Mr. Nicholas Carrelli, who as a rookie shot and killed then 26 year-old Mr. Tate-Brown, has worked continuously since the December incident.
But news from Chicago emerged Thursday that when juxtaposed to Philadelphia, makes the City which hosted the Democratic National Convention last month look as if it’s wholly tolerating an obvious act of police misconduct in an era when many governments are working over-time to rebuild trust.
Chicago Police Superintendent Mr. Eddie Johnson, who in March of 2016 replaced Mr. Garry McCarthy, today called for seven Chicago cops to be fired for making false reports in the death of Mr. McDonald, several outlets have stated.
According to the Huffington Post, the seven officers have been stripped of their police powers, but will be able to contest the superintendent’s decision when they go in front of the Chicago Police Board, which will make the ultimate ruling. It’s said that Mr. Johnson’s action is a result of a report from the Chicago inspector that recommended the firing.
In Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Mr. Richard Ross, who in January of 2016 replaced the now retired Mr. Charles Ramsey, hasn’t even mentioned Mr. Tate-Brown, the lies told by Mr. Carrelli or the possibility of calling for an independent investigation into the matter.
The District Attorney, who’s currently embroiled in controversy over his failure to report roughly $160,000 worth of gifts, suggested the shooting wasn’t a criminal act, despite the fact that Mr. Carrelli, armed with a Taser he opted not to use, said he killed Mr. Tate-Brown because he was reaching into a car for a gun when in actuality he was running away – Mr. Ramsey in late 2015 explained the false narrative on a rush to fed the media.
How Philly and Chicago handled its high-profile 2014 fatal officer-involved shooting was identical until it wasn’t. Chicago, a city with a long history of government malfeasance, slowly traversed to the right side of history, while Philly remained stubbornly planted in its comfort-zone of corruption.
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Photo courtesy of the author.