Report: Officer Van Dyke Intentionally Broke Dashcam Before Laquan McDonald Shooting

Jason Van Dyke (L) and Laquan McDonald (WGN Screenshots)

Jason Van Dyke (L) and Laquan McDonald (WGN Screenshots)

The Chicago offi­cer who killed Laquan McDonald nev­er synced his micro­phone to his dash­cam and even inten­tion­al­ly dam­aged the cam­era, accord­ing to police main­te­nance logs. What’s worse: He’s not the only offi­cer to do so. Over 1800 logs first obtained by DNAinfo Chicago show that offi­cers reg­u­lar­ly dam­age their cam­eras or find ways to keep the sound from sync­ing. Their meth­ods include hid­ing micro­phones in glove box­es, pulling out the bat­ter­ies, dam­ag­ing anten­nae, and so on. The logs showed that Jason Van Dyke, the offi­cer involved in the Laquan McDonald shoot­ing, caused “inten­tion­al dam­age” to his dash­cam at least once, though the logs indi­cate that the dash­cam was bro­ken mul­ti­ple times. On the day of the shoot­ing, the audio for the video was not picked up by his car or the one next to his.

One month after the shoot­ing, a Nov. 21 review of 10 videos down­loaded from Van Dyke’s squad car deter­mined it was “appar­ent … that per­son­nel have failed to sync the MICs [sic],” accord­ing police records. Of the five police vehi­cles that were present the night of the shoot­ing, only two had dash­cams that actu­al­ly record­ed video, and one of those was report­ed­ly bro­ken. Records show that, five days before the shoot­ing, a request was put in to repair the dash­cam, though “no prob­lem” was found with the equip­ment when it was exam­ined October 31. One week lat­er, the sys­tem was report­ed­ly bro­ken again, with a “hard­ware issue” remain­ing unad­dressed for four months. Three addi­tion­al dash­cams were unable to cap­ture footage the night of the shoot­ing, due to sys­tem mal­func­tions that inclue: “Power issue,” “disc error” and “appli­ca­tion error.”

It was not until McDonald was shot and killed by Officer Jason Van Dyke that Chicago PD rec­og­nized the wide­spread issue of offi­cers inten­tion­al­ly tam­per­ing with dash­cams and dash­cam micro­phones. Following the release of the one dash­cam video of the shoot­ing, Van Dyke has been charged with first degree mur­der.
Report: Officer Van Dyke inten­tion­al­ly broke dash­cam before Laquan McDonald shooting

Confirmed: Five Arrested, One Militant Killed During Ammon Bundy Arrest

The lead­ers of the occu­pa­tion of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, includ­ing Ammon Bundy, have been arrest­ed after a shootout with law enforce­ment offi­cials about 15 miles north of Burns on Tuesday night.

One of the mili­tia mem­bers was shot and killed dur­ing the con­fronta­tion, and though the iden­ti­ty of the deceased has not yet been released, many reports on the ground indi­cate that the deceased is LaVoy Finicum, who spoke at length about how he would rather die than be tak­en into cus­tody. State Rep. Michele Fiore (R‑Nevada), who speaks direct­ly to the Bundy fam­i­ly, has con­firmed Finicum was the casu­al­ty in the shootout.

Also among those arrest­ed were Ryan W. Payne, Brian Cavalier, and Shawna J. Cox. They have all been charged with felony counts of imped­ing offi­cers of the US from dis­charg­ing their offi­cial duties through the use of force, intim­i­da­tion or threats. Ryan Bundy of Bunkerville, Nevada, suf­fered a minor gun­shot wound but is in sta­ble con­di­tion and is expect­ed to be charged with the others.

The FBI, Oregon State troop­ers, and oth­er law enforce­ment agen­cies were all involved in the gun­fight and sub­se­quent arrest, but it is unclear who shot first.

The inci­dent appar­ent­ly began with a traf­fic stop that occurred while Bundy and his sup­port­ers made a trip to a meet­ing in the neigh­bor­ing town of John Day. Highway 395 has been tem­porar­i­ly closed between Burns and John Day.

Harney District Hospital, where some of the mil­i­tants involved in the gun­fight have been treat­ed, is also on lockdown.

In a sep­a­rate inci­dent the same night, Oregon Police arrest­ed Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, a sup­port­er of the Bundy occupation.

Ammon Bundy, along with dozens of oth­er armed right-wing extrem­ists, occu­pied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan 2 to protest the government’s treat­ment of Steven and Dwight Hammond, local ranch­ers who were con­vict­ed of com­mit­ting arson on fed­er­al land adja­cent to their prop­er­ty. The Hammonds declined Bundy’s sup­port, and the armed mili­tia group has been crit­i­cized and derid­ed by the vast major­i­ty of locals in the area. They have also found them­selves sub­ject tocon­fronta­tions with rival groups, inte­ri­or con­flicts and fist­fights, and pranks from detrac­tors as they have con­tin­ued their occupation.