The Chicago City Council gave the green light Wednesday to an ordinance that will allow the city to finally release a long-secret Inspector General’s report on the 2014 shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald.
The ordinance, backed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, gives Chicago’s corporation counsel the power to release any reports by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson when they involve "sustained findings regarding conduct that either is associated with a death or is, or may be, a felony as defined in the Illinois Criminal Code and is of a compelling public interest." Previously, such reports were kept confidential by law.
The Fraternal Order of Police have vigorously opposed releasing Ferguson’s materials.
In an interview earlier this year with WBEZ radio, Ferguson called on the city to release the records of his 2016 investigation, saying that the public still does not know the "full story" about the incident.
Ferguson recommended the firing of 11 individuals. In the end, the Chicago Police Board voted to fire one sergeant and three officers who were present the evening officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old McDonald. Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
His partner, Joseph Walsh, officer Thomas Gaffney and Detective March were accused of engaging in a coverup of the events of that evening, but were found not guilty after a trial last January. Walsh and March resigned, but Gaffney remained on the force.