Chicago Police Have Been Sabotaging Their Dash Cams

Protests Erupt In Chicago After Video Of Police Shooting Of Teen Is Released

This dash-cam footage had no audio. Photo: Chicago Police Department via Getty Images

After the notorious video of Laquan McDonald getting shot by Chicago police officers 16 times went viral last November, investigators have been making their way through the other videos of the scene. In doing so, they’ve discovered that three of the dash cams pointed at McDonald that day did not record video, and others had no audio. Now a Chicago Police Department audit reveals that many of the department’s dashboard cameras have been deliberately sabotaged.

Last month the CPD found that 80 percent of its 850 dash cams do not record audio, and 12 percent don’t record video either. The CPD has blamed the failures on “operator error or in some cases intentional destruction,” and a close reading of that review by DNAinfo Chicago reveals the extent of the latter. Officers frequently tampered with dash cams, stashing microphones in their glove boxes or pulling out batteries. Some dash cams were found with their antennae deliberately destroyed, and others had had their microphones removed altogether.

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