'Disgraceful' photograph shows Chicago police officer Timothy McDermott posing with black suspect wearing antlers

Officer was fired last year after a 5-4 vote by the police board

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A court in Chicago has released a startling image that shows two white police police officers bearing rifles and kneeling black to a black suspect with antlers attached to his head.

One of the officers in the image – which is at least more than 12 years old - is currently in jail and the other one was fired last year. But that second officer is now trying to get his job back and the image was given to the Chicago police by federal prosecutors.

On Wednesday, when asked for his response to the image of the former officers, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Sun-Times newspaper: “Good riddance”.

He added: “Let me be clear, that photo does not represent the values of the city of Chicago that we all share in common. It doesn’t represent the values of the Police department.”

“To that individual, ‘Good riddance...You don’t belong in the Police department'. Our whole idea of the Police Department is to serve and protect.”

Reports said one of the officers in the photograph, Jerome Finnigan is now serving a 12-year prison term after being convicted of several crimes,

The other officer, Timothy McDermott, was fired last year by the police board in a 5-to-4 vote.

The five members of the board wrote in their decision that “appearing to treat an African-American man not as a human being but as a hunted animal is disgraceful and shocks the conscience”.

Federal prosecutors gave the Polaroid photo to Chicago police investigators in 2013. It is believed to have been taken in a police station on Chicago’s West Side sometime between 1999 and 2003. The identity of the suspect is not known.

Lawyers for both Chicago Police Department and McDermott both asked Judge Thomas Allen to keep the photo private. In March, the judge refused their request and this week newspaper obtained the picture.

Mr McDermott is currently driving a truck. He declined to speak to the paper. However, in an ienrview with officers conducing an internal probe he said: “I am embarrassed by my participation in this photograph. I made a mistake as a young, impressionable police officer who was trying to fit in.”

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