Cop who shot Laquan McDonald deliberately broke his dashcam, didn’t sync microphone

The Chicago cop accused of slaying black teenager Laquan McDonald in a hail of 16 bullets had broken his dashcam on purpose and didn’t sync his microphone, records have revealed.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, 37, who gunned down the 17-year-old boy in October 2014, was accused of causing ‘intentional’ damage to the device in the months leading up to the shooting- and he isn’t the only one.

More than 1,800 maintenance logs reviewed by DNAinfo Chicago show that in 80 percent of cases, the lack of audio or problems with the recording device was down to the cop’s deliberate actions.

It means there was no sound on thousands of dashcam videos used to investigate police interactions with suspects – including the shooting of McDonald.

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke (pictured during a court hearing in December) broke his dashcam on purpose and unhooked the microphone before Laquan McDoand's shooting in October 2014, police maintenance logs show 

The records show officers stashed microphones in their squad car glove boxes and pulled out batteries.

Microphones were also broken or went missing and sometimes dashcam systems didn’t have any sound recorders plugged in at all.

Four other police vehicles at McDonald’s shooting scene failed to record audio. Only two of the five vehicles had dashcams that actually captured video.

On June 17, 2014, police technicians reported fixing a dashcam wiring issue in police vehicle No. 6412, the squad shared by Van Dyke and his partner Joseph Walsh.

It was fixed around three months after it was reported broken, records show.

A day later, the same vehicle’s dashcam system was reported busted again.

This time it took until October 8, 2014, to complete repairs of what technicians described as ‘intentional damage’.

Twelve days days later, on October 20, dashcam video recorded from squad car No. 6412 showed Van Dyke shooting and killing McDonald.

However no audio on the tape was picked up.

The video that went viral, and led to Van Dyke’s murder charge was taken from a different squad car, but it, too, had no audio.

The dashcam in police vehicle No. 8489, shared by officers Thomas Gaffney and Joseph McElligott the night of McDonald’s shooting, recorded 37 ‘event videos’ in October 2014, and had an operational dashcam the night of the shooting.

But ‘due to disk error’ no video was recorded at the shooting scene, according to police reports.

On November 21, 2014, a review of 10 videos downloaded from Van Dyke’s squad car dashcam determined it was ‘apparent … that personnel have failed to sync the MICs [sic]’.

The records show Van Dyk and Walsh asked for their dashcam to be repaired five days before Laquan’s shooting.

However on October 31, technicians found ‘no problems’ with the equipment, DNAinfo reported.

Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in Laquan’s shooting.

Walsh, who backed up Van Dyke throughout the investigation, has been placed on desk duty as the investigation into his conduct continues.

Daily Mail Online has asked the Chicago Police Department for comment.

Source: The DailyMail

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