An image has emerged of two Chicago police officers that has further called into question the racist tactics and culture of the police. In the picture an unidentified Black man lays on the floor with antlers on his head as two police officers holding rifles kneel above him like he is a dead deer. The photo was believed to have been taken between 1999 and 2003 at a West Side Chicago police station. The picture was given to the city by federal authorities in 2013 and the officers were identified as Timothy McDermott and Jerome Finnigan.
McDermott was fired by the police department in 2013 in a 5 to 4 vote; with the dissenting voters stating that McDermott should not be fired but suspended instead. However, a majority of the board wrote 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, now a truck driver, is appealing his dismissal in court. Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy stated that the photo “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 a resident of our city, I will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and that is why these officers do not work for the Chicago Police Department 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 unidentified Black male was arrested by the two officers for possession of marijuana. Because of the small amount of drugs found on the suspect, he was not arrested, and according to the officers, posed willingly for the picture.