Chicago Officers Tampering with Dashcams

January 29, 2016

Photo courtesy of City of Chicago/Patrick Pyszka.
Photo courtesy of City of Chicago/Patrick Pyszka.

Chicago police officers have been disabling the microphones connected to their dashcam systems, which has caused an absence of audio in about 80% of videos, according to a report by DNAinfo Chicago.

The review of 1,800 police maintenance logs shows 90 instances of missing microphones in cars from Sept. 1, 2014 to July 16. The investigation came about following the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke on Oct. 20, 2014. At least two dashcam videos, including Van Dyke's squad car, captured the shooting without sound.

An investigation by the department led to the conclusion that officers were disabling the microphones. Van Dyke's own dashcam was repaired several times, including once on Oct. 8 to complete repairs from "intentional damage."

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