Officers Cited for Lack of Audio and Video

Internal Affairs documents name 14 officers

Fourteen Chicago Police officers have been cited for failure to record audio and video or for misuse of equipment since the first of the year.

Internal Affairs records, released to NBC5 through a public records request, detail the allegations which call for penalties ranging from reprimands and suspensions.

This comes as Chicago Police try to determine why a body camera failed to record the shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal who died in a police-involved shooting on July 28.

The failure by some Chicago Police officers to record audio and video surfaced during the investigation of the shooting of 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald. Just two of the five squad cars on the scene when the teen was shot and killed in October 2014 recorded video. And none recorded audio, even though it was a standing policy requirement.

In action not related to the McDonald shooting, two officers--Jamie Jawor and Kelly Bongiovanni--have, according to Internal Affairs documents released to NBC5 Investigates through a Freedom of Information Act request, received 15-day suspension for the “Misuse of Department Equipment/Supplies.”  

In addition, from January until the end of June, five officers have received one-day suspensions, while seven officers have been reprimanded.

They were cited for equipment violations, misuse of equipment/supplies and failure to preform assigned tasks.

The head of the police union, Dean Angelo, said the allegations are still in “the investigative stages” and that officers are not yet allowed to speak about the charges.

Angelo also said faulty equipment, and not officers, could be to blame.

As we first reported last year, the Chicago Police Department uses a training film to instruct officers how the in-car camera system works. And that Special Orders from the Chicago Police Department, dated August 2010, required officers to record audio and video.

In December, then acting Superintendent John Escalante said officers that failed to record would be punished.

A Chicago Police Department spokesman called vehicle and body cameras “important tools” that carry “strict guidelines.” Adding officers were warned, “to follow the procedures correctly, or otherwise face disciplinary action.”

Since the release of the LaQaun McDonald video in November 2015, the Chicago Police Department has moved to increase the number of officers wearing body cameras.  There has been no official explanation why the body camera failed in the shooting of Paul O’Neal.  Three officers connected to that shooting have had their police powers restricted by Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

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