End Mass Criminalization of Black and Brown Youth

End Racism and Discrimination

Thursday, 28 May 2015 00:00

Chicago Police Put Antlers on Black Man and Posed for Pictures

Written by Juan Thompson | The Intercept
Photo: Cook County Illinois Court/Chicago Sun-Times Photo: Cook County Illinois Court/Chicago Sun-Times

The photo shows two white Chicago Police officers posing with an unidentified black man. The officers — Timothy McDermott and Jerome Finnigan — are holding rifles as the black man lies on the floor with a dazed look on his face and with antlers on his head as if he were a prized, big buck finally hunted down.

Finnegan is smiling and grabbing the right antler, while McDermott is holding up the man’s head as if it were his trophy.

The photo was taken in a police station on the West Side of Chicago sometime between 1999 and 2003. The Chicago Police Department successfully kept it hidden from the public until a judge refused to keep it under seal and the Chicago Sun-Times pulled a copy from a court filing. 

Finnigan is a notoriously dirty ex-cop who was a member of the police department’s elite Special Operations Section (SOS) until 2006, when he was charged with leading a gang of fellow officers who robbed suspects, illegally invaded homes and stole thousands of dollars in cash. He’s now serving 12 years in federal prison.

In a 2012 interview with Playboy, Finnigan admitted the SOS beat and tortured multiple suspects, and described shutting down an internal affairs investigation by appealing to one of his comrades in blue who worked in the Internal Affairs Division.

The Sun-Times reports that federal authorities gave the photo to Chicago Police in 2013, after Finnigan’s prosecution. As a result, a police board last year voted to fire McDermott — but only by a 5-4 margin.

After the Guardian disclosed this year how Chicago police kept their detention and torture at the Homan Square facility off the books, police told me no suspect is detained without proper paperwork. But it’s not at all surprising to find out that Finnigan and McDermott filed no arrest report the night the photograph was taken.

As for the man in the photo, he has no name. The police claimed he was dealing drugs, but there is no reason to believe them. Ultimately, whether the man was a drug dealer or not is irrelevant.

He was a human being, dehumanized by other men who swore to protect and serve the public good. And if the police, who have a monopoly on sanctioned violence, view a segment of the population as not quite human, then they will do anything to those people.

Against this backdrop, the deer photo — so reminiscent of the “trophy” pictures taken by the torturers at Abu Ghraib — has a direct relationship to the way police treat black communities.

The anti-black sickness that infects America’s police departments will not be solved by body cameras or any other ornament of reform. A more profound, national rejection is called for.

Link to original article from The Intercept

Read 8782 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 May 2015 14:50

Latest Economic and Social Justice News

  • 1

Willie Nelson - Keeping the Postal Service Alive

Latest News

  • Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. +

    Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. A seismic political battle that could send shockwaves all the way to the White House was launched last week in Read More
  • Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? +

    Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? In an interview with Reuters conducted a month after he took office, Donald Trump asserted that the U.S. had “fallen Read More
  • Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy +

    Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed Read More
  • Bush’s Iraq Lies, Uncontested, Will Haunt Us Under Trump +

    Bush’s Iraq Lies, Uncontested, Will Haunt Us Under Trump The CODEPINK Tribunal taking place December 1 and 2, and live streamed by The Real News, is a historic collection of testimonies about the lies Read More
  • The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election +

    The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election Donald Trump was right: the system is rigged! But it is rigged for the Republicans, not the Democrats, for conservatives, Read More
  • 1

Economic and Social Justice Calls

  • 5-4-2016 Economic and Social Justice Call
    The team explores the concept, economic theories and realities of achieving Full Employment in the current economy. Guests include Conor Williams, the secretary of the Transitional Jobs Collaborative in Milwaukee and Michael Darner, Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
  • 02-03-2016 Economic & Social Justice
    Listen to this month's call led by Jim Carpenter as we discuss the state of our current economy, the impact of poor economic choices, and the other factors that play into the declining situation around the country, and in the world in this open and guided conversation.
  • 01-06-2016 Economic & Social Justice
    PDAction Board Member Donald Whitehead, and former Ex. Dir. of the Coalition for the Homeless leads the discussion on homelessness, with input from Joel Segal, PDAmerica founding member and National Director of the Justice Action Mobilization Network. Special focus is given to the housing crisis, the role of the banks, programs used by other countries to alleviate the problem, as well as the fact that women are the most adversely affected by this issue. H Con Res 98 - Resolve to Eliminate Homelessness - has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) and is endorsed on this call.