A picture taken over a decade ago showing two Chicago cops sporting hunting rifles and standing over a black suspect dressed up with antlers on his head was released by a Cook County judge yesterday. The judge declined to keep this racially charged photo under wraps and deemed it as an image for public release.
The release of this picture has Mayor Rahm Emanuel in gear trying to put some distance between the Chicago Police Department and the two former cops in this picture after the photo was published this week, according to USA Today on May 27.
With racial tensions rising between the cops and community in various parts of the nation, this picture did not offer any help at remedying this problem. This picture didn’t host an image that could possibly offer any positive outcome and it is the type of image that could add more fuel to the fire.
The two former officers seen standing over the suspect who is donned in antlers have been removed from the police force, one was dismissed due to this picture and the other one is spending 12-years in jail for a cop lead robbery ring. Both former cops are white and the suspect with the antlers on his head is black.
The Washington Post reports that the one cop was fired long before the picture was published yesterday. The other cop was long gone doing time in prison, so the disciplinary action was done by the inner workings of the police force without any outcry from the public needed to prompt the action taken.
USA Today reports that the mayor said in a news conference, “Let me be clear: That photo does not represent the values of the city of Chicago that we all share in common,” Emanuel told reporters Tuesday. “It doesn’t represent the values of the Police Department.”
The man with the antlers on his head, who was a suspect brought in by these cops after finding him with 20 bags of weed appears to be goofing around with the cops for the camera. They antler donned man is sticking out his tongue and his head is being held up by one of the cops who is cupping his chin with his hand. The Chicago Sun-Times was the first to publish this picture.
No one is quite sure when the picture was taken, but it was snapped somewhere between the years of 1999 and 2003. No one knows who the man with the antlers is. Apparently the cops hauled him in and then let him go because he didn’t have much of a police record.
USA Today reports that “The publication of the shocking photo comes as Chicago, like many other big cities in the USA, is grappling to repair damaged relations in the African-American community.”
This picture doesn’t add to the positive actions taken by the city council earlier this month. They approved an unprecedented reparations package to the victims tortured by police officers under their former police commander Jon Burge. The victims were mostly African-American.
Many do not understand why a decade-old picture would be granted for publication in a public venue with the content adding to the racial tensions of the city. Others believe the days of hiding incidents are gone. It could be that this type of transparency is what the folks of Chicago want, no matter how old the picture or incident is.