Acting Chicago Police Supt. John Escalante on Friday warned rank-and-file officers that it's their responsibility to ensure that audio and video equipment is in working order before every tour of duty, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Disciplinary action will follow if equipment problems are not reported in a timely manner, the report says.
“We have a good policy in place. We’ve got to reinforce it. That’s why I sent out a reminder. When you get into that car, test the in-car camera and the audio. Make sure it’s working. That’s your responsibility,” Escalante said, according to the Sun-Times. “If the system isn’t working and officers didn’t report it, we are going to take disciplinary action.”
The warning comes after audio was missing from the videos showing the shootings by police of Laquan McDonald, 17, and Ronald Johnson, 25. There was no audio on dash-cam video when white Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 rounds at Laquan, the report says. Sirens could be heard outside the squad car, but there was no audio from inside the vehicles, the report says.
An attorney representing Johnson’s mother said that videos from his shooting eight days earlier also lacked audio, writes the Sun-Times.
Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has vowed to release the Johnson video after concealing it for months.
Escalante, a 29-year department veteran who was appointed after Garry McCarthy was fired, "said he was troubled by the lack of audio and there’s no excuse for it," writes the Sun-Times.
Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times.