Cook County, Ill., Judge Thomas R. Allen on Wednesday upheld the firing of Timothy McDermott, a former Chicago police officer, who posed in a photograph with an unnamed black man wearing antlers as if he were a hunting trophy.
The Chicago Police Board narrowly voted 5-4 to fire McDermott in 2013, but McDermott appealed the decision.
During a 30-minute ruling, Judge Allen called the case ‘straightforward.’ McDermott, holding a rifle in one hand, held his other hand under the black man’s chin. The man stuck out his tongue and his eyes rolled in the back of his head.
McDermott posed in the photo with Jerome Finnigan, another former Chicago cop, who was also holding a rifle.
The photo is believed to have been taken between 1999 and 2003 in a West Side police station. The FBI gave the photo to Chicago police, and Judge Allen ordered it released to the public this March.
The FBI passed the photograph to the Chicago police following an investigation of Finnigan, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his participation in a cop-lead-home invasion ring.
LAPD Cleared in the Ezell Ford Killing
Police investigating misconduct by fellow officers found that two cops were justified in shooting to death Ezell Ford, an unarmed, mentally ill black man last year in Los Angeles.
Ford, 25, was shot to death August 11 after he reportedly struggled with one of the cops for his gun. His family has filed a federal lawsuit seeking $75 million in damages. Ford is at least the third unarmed mentally ill black man shot to death by police in the last year.
On April 30, Christopher Manney, a Milwaukee police officer, shot to death Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed mentally ill man who was sleeping in a city park. Manney shot Hamilton 14 times.
Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney in October, saying Manney instigated the fight with an inappropriate pat-down. His firing was upheld by the city’s police and fire board.
In March, Robert Olsen, a Dekalb County, Georgia, police officer shot to death Anthony Hill, 27, who was naked in public and unarmed. Olsen claimed, however, he shot and killed Hill because he feared for his life.
Hill, who suffered from a bipolar disorder, was a U.S. Air Force veteran.