- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A photograph taken more than a decade ago that shows two smiling Chicago police officers posing over a black drug suspect has been rebuked by police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy after the Chicago Sun-Times published it Tuesday.

The Polaroid photo, believed by investigators to have been taken between 1999 and 2003, shows former Officers Timothy McDermott and Jerome Finnigan, both white, posing with rifles over an unidentified black suspect, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The suspect is shown lying on his stomach, with deer antlers on top of his head and his tongue hanging out.

Mr. McCarthy said in a statement to the Sun-Times that the photo “is disgusting, and the despicable actions of these two former officers have no place in our police department or in our society.”

“As the superintendent of this department, and as a resident of our city, I will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and that is why neither of these officers works for CPD today,” he said. “I fired one of the officers and would have fired the other if he hadn’t already been fired by the time I found out about the picture. Our residents deserve better than this, as do the thousands of good men and women in this department.”

The photo was first brought to the police department’s attention in 2013 by federal officials and resulted in Mr. McDermott’s termination, the Sun-Times reported. Mr. Finnigan was already serving 12 years in prison for leading a crew of rogue cops on a crime spree. The department tried to keep the image under seal, but a judge denied that request in March. Investigators were unable to determine the identities of the suspect in the photo and the person who took it, the Sun-Times reported.

During a 2013 interview with investigators, Mr. McDermott expressed regret for taking the photo.

“I am embarrassed by my participation in this photograph,” he said. “I made a mistake as a young, impressionable police officer who was trying to fit in.”

Mr. McDermott, who has been driving a truck to support his family, is now appealing his dismissal in court, the Sun-Times reported. His next court hearing is scheduled for June 10, when the judge is expected to issue a ruling.

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