Police

Offensive Police Photo: Why Is a Black Suspect Wearing Antlers? Why Do the Cops Have Hunting Rifles?

Woah

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Antlers
Chicago PD

Yes, this really happened at a Chicago police station: A black suspect put antlers on his head, stuck out his tongue, and dropped to all fours (whether this was voluntary, we know not). Two cops posed with the suspect—hunting rifles in hand—and let someone photograph it.

The shockingly offensive* photo—which depicts the black man as an animal to be hunted—was recently released to The Chicago Sun-Times after a judge ruled that it should not be kept out of the press. It was probably taken between 1999 and 2003.

Neither of the two officers pictured in the photo have fared well since then. Jerome Finnigan, the man on the left, is currently serving 12 years in prison for "leading a crew of rogue cops in robberies, home invasions and other crimes," according to The Sun-Times. Timothy McDermott, the man on the right, was fired last year after federal prosecutors discovered the photo and handed it over to department officials. McDermott has appealed his termination.

The photograph becoming public record probably won't help his case. (No word yet on whether the police union will agree to handle his legal expenses.) In the meantime, his lawyer, Daniel Herbert, offered this defense:

In his closing arguments at the police board hearing, Herbert emphasized the lack of information about where and when the photo was taken — and the mystery surrounding the African-American man's identity.

"What's to say this individual wasn't performing at a Christmas pageant in the district and was dressed as a reindeer and had taken the reindeer suit off? Again, I don't mean to make preposterous arguments, but the charges in this case, they warrant that," he said.

The black man is believed to have been a drug suspect who was released without charges. His name is unknown.

*Update: I initially wrote that the photo was "shockingly racist." That may have been going too far, since we don't know very much about the context or officers' motivations. To be clear, there is no context that would make the photo okay, but "offensive" is probably a fairer description than "racist."

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  1. OK, that’s it – time to replace the white Tea Party Republicans who run Chicago and replace them with Democrats.

    1. Yeah. Why does it seem that police brutality only happens in deep red areas like LA, Seattle, New York and Chicago? This would never happen in progressive areas.

      (Replace the end of the first sentence with “the racist south”, and you have your Salon article the next time something happens in Texas or Florida or Georgia.)

      1. Yes Texas, Florida and Georgia are all sterling examples of police respecting the constitution and civil rights.

        Does everything have to be partisan bullshit? Isnt it clear enough at this point that neither team is invested in anything but their own power and influence?

  2. Gasp. Or something. That’s how I’m supposed to respond, yeah?

    1. It’s pretty terrible, yo. Also:

      “Neither of the two officers pictured in the photo have fared well since then. Jerome Finnigan, the man on the left, is currently serving 12 years in prison for “leading a crew of rogue cops in robberies, home invasions and other crimes,” according to The Sun-Times. Timothy McDermott, the man on the right, was fired last year after federal prosecutors discovered the photo and handed it over to department officials. McDermott has appealed his termination.”

      Yeah, going out on a limb and saying this picture is pretty indicative of the sort of shitheads these cops generally are.

      1. And whatever happened to Antler Guy?

  3. As a deer of color, I was triggered by this.

    1. You’re a black-tailed deer?

  4. The photo is, of course, inappropriate. But I don’t see what’s “racist” about the photo. The fact that the guy with antlers happens to be black seems to have no relationship to what happened or how it happened; he might just as well have been white, Asian, or any other color.

    1. The problem isn’t the race of the participants but that these guys thought it was OK to take that photo at all.

      1. No no, it’s racist because only white people can be racist, and also slavery has always been black slaves and white masters.

        1. “…slavery has always been black slaves and white masters.”

          Except for the free blacks that owned slaves. Somehow no one ever talks about that. I don’t know why. It is a mystery.

          1. That’s just unpossible, Suthen!

    2. I’m with Win. Its a terrible photo, regardless of the race.

      Without knowing more, I have no reason to believe its racist. Its not like there’s a long history of putting antlers on black people before shooting them.

      1. Robby has no reason to believe it either, other than how uncomfortable it makes him feel. As though there were politically incorrect sand in his social justice vagina.

      2. You’re right. I deleted the “racist” assertion and posted an update.

        1. ” To be clear, there is no context that would make the photo okay”

          well, that’s a relief

          1. Except if they put antlers on a white guy, then it would have just been normal redneck fun and nobody woudl have noticed…

            1. if the guy with antlers was an arestee it would not have been ok regardless of the color. the culture war stuff is pointless and stupid.

        2. Good on ya, Robby.

          We like you. When the commentariat rises up, we’ll kill you last.

  5. It was probably taken between 1999 and 2003.

    Nice try. They didn’t even have Instagram back then. Where was it posted? Friendster? I don’t think so.

    1. MYSPACE YOU IDIOT

        1. Gentlemen – there’s no fighting in here – this is the War Room!

          1. And you’re both idiots!

    2. It was posted on an electronic bulletin board. Or maybe sent in a listserv message.

      1. You guess with such authority, how can I argue?

  6. “whether this was voluntary, we know not”

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it wasn’t.

    1. What are you talking about? Every time a cop pulls me over I say “Hey officer, would you like to take a picture of me dressed like an animal that you’re hunting?”

      Admittedly, I’ve got some pretty messed up fetishes.

      1. So were you arrested for bribery after drunkenly propositioning the responding officer?

        1. At least Irish didn’t offer to lick anything, like the woman in an earlier article did.

          1. You don’t know that. Don’t try to box Irish in with your cissexual heteronormative gender-binary paradigm.

            1. I retract my earlier comments, and hereby offer a sincere apology to all parties, of whatever persuasion or inclination or inspiration.

              1. The fact that Irish was not charged may indicate that he was successful in his licks.

  7. “What’s to say this individual wasn’t performing at a Christmas pageant in the district and was dressed as a reindeer and had taken the reindeer suit off? Again, I don’t mean to make preposterous arguments, but the charges in this case, they warrant that,” he said.

    I see the Chewbacca defense is being expertly administered.

    I’m sure that the every action that arrested prisoner did whilst in custody was “voluntary”.

    1. I don’t think this guys attorney has a firm grasp on the definition of “preposterous.”

  8. “Hey, Bubs, get over here so me and Herc can take this picture.”

    /Presbeluski

  9. shockingly racist

    ?

    I’d just go with “astoundingly moronic”.
    Sometimes a “noose” is just a piece of rope.

    1. Hey, it’s Robby. Everything is racist.

      1. That was racist, Cap.

        1. You know who else was racist?

  10. ” The black man is believed to have been a drug suspect who was released without charges.”

    Or he was arrested while trying to steal Christmas.

    1. Or for ruining the buffet at the Harrow Club?

      1. +1 art dealer

        (Herpes Simplex 10 makes Ramone do crazy things)

  11. OK, incredibly stupid, outrageously poor taste, but “shockingly racist”?

    I don’t get that, unless you filter things exclusively in color as your go to setting.

    My initial reaction of the photo is that all three people are willing participants.

    The implication of hunting a human of any color is the outrage here.

    1. It’s also from 12-15 years ago. So we’re supposed to be outraged about a photograph, to which we don’t have any idea of context, taken over a decade ago?

  12. The CPD is probably the worst police department in the country. Remember the time some thug cop beat up a bartender so badly she was hospitalized and then other cops showed up to her bar to try and harass her into silence?

    1. Almost as good as the time they dumped a mentally ill white girl tourist in the projects to die.

      1. “mentally ill white girl”

        but then you danced your way out of the ghetto and the story was later turned into a hit movie starring Julia Styles?

        1. No wonder that movie was the worst.

    2. As bad as they are, I don’t know if they can up their standards to NOLA levels. Maybe if they get an EF5 tornado rolling through downtown, they can have their own Danziger Bridge.

  13. The LAPD: Take a picture with a suspect wearing antlers, get fired.

    While searching for a black man in a blue pickup, shoot up a white pickup with two Asian women – keep your job, no prob.

    1. Sorry. Crossing the streams of astoundingly inept, violent, corrupt police departments.

      Carry on.

      1. Not necessarily. Both cases are astonishing evidence of that new professionalism stuff going around.

  14. shockingly racist

    I feel shocked, Cotton. Also, good band name.

  15. McDermott has appealed his termination.

    On Morning Joke, they were all aflutter about copcams. “Putting cameras on cops will fix everything!”
    No, it won’t, you blathering ninnies; not until cops can successfully be FIRED for their lawlessness.

    1. They operate under the same assumption as every other drone out there – that cops are held to the same standard of conduct as everyone else.

  16. HATE PHOTO!

  17. “I don’t mean to make preposterous arguments, but…..”

    Uh huh.

  18. He’s APPEALING? The police force better keep this unfit clown out of their ranks if they have any shred of decency and honor. I know, I know.

    Quite the pair of colossal dicks.

  19. The shockingly racist photo?which depicts the black man as an animal to be hunted?was recently released to The Chicago Sun-Times after a judge ruled that it should not be kept out of the press.

    The man it depicts happens to be black, that is clear. But how do you know it’s racist? Because the cops are white and the “prey” is not?

    1. That’s how cops see all of us. The CPD has a long and storied history of destroying the lives of white and black people alike. There are some real horror stories related to those people and their willingness to fuck people up seems entirely unrelated to what race they might happen to be.

      1. And that’s exactly why it’s counterproductive to jump on the “thats racist!!!” pants-shitting bandwagon. Robby just needs to stop shitting his pants. He represents a bad trend among Reason staff of ceding ground to the cultural marxists.

        1. He represents a bad trend among Reason staff of ceding ground to the cultural marxists.

          Yeah, I’m seeing Reason writers getting just a little too receptive to SJW/proggy culcha war memes and assumptions.

          Sometimes they work their way past them (like with the UVA rape story), sometimes they don’t.

          1. NOT OKAY

            1. Do you miss Alissa, GIL?

              1. i really felt like we spoke the same language

                1. I laughed when you chased everyone away and called “her” sweetie.

  20. NOT OKAY

  21. I saw this as being typical of the mindset of far too many in law enforcement: “We count and the rest of you are just animals.”
    It simply reminds me of the t-shirts popular with some police and federal agents.

    Examples:

    Cops make good roommates…they’re used to taking out the trash

    In God we trust, all others get searched

    Law Enforcement…. Helping perps slip down stairs since 1766

    Save the police time, beat yourself up

    You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

    Several of the ones I’ve seen certainly do include various levels of racism, but they all have in common the implication that law enforcement personnel are above ordinary citizens and an ordinary citizen’s life isn’t very valuable.

    Here is a link to some of the shirts and phrases:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..79017.html

    1. ou have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

      That reminds me of the interrogation scene in My Cousin Vinny where Ralph Macchio says “I shot the clerk?” and they used it as a confession.

      The more true it is, the funnier it is.

  22. Or he was arrested while trying to steal Christmas.

    Nice.

  23. Wow. So when the other cops saw the photo get passed around several years ago, they didn’t do shit. Higher. Standard. Of. Accountability.

    1. Evidenlty some of us are not as equal as others.

  24. I don’t get why he was fired without any context or why this is offensive. Should I be watching more TV? Is deer a racial slur for blacks now?

    1. There’s a prevailing sense of white cops hunting young black men, and this is almost certainly a CYA move by the authorities. They’re probably thinking, Who cares that the image originated over a decade before that meme got traction, it looks bad now. And sadly, that is probably the only reason the guy was canned, and not for the imagery of cops hunting *anyone*.

      1. If the prevailing sense is that white cops hunt blacks, instead of cops hunting non-cops, the prevailing sense is pretty fucking senseless. If police brutality and predatory practices are only worth opposing when it fits a racist narrative, you’ll never fix or mitigate the rampant problem of police brutality.

  25. You know who else was racist?

    Elijah Muhammad?

  26. if this was voluntary what the hell was the problem? it could just be three guys who know each other mugging it up. the deer appears to be playing along with the gag.

    if it was involuntary then obviously it was abusive as most involuntary things are

    did anyone here pretend they were journalists and contact the people involved and find out what actually happened?

    No? Too busy dredging up 15 year old photos and firing off a load when their racist cop detector pinged?

  27. Can I just answer the headline? Because it’s funny dumbass.

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  29. To be clear, there is no context that would make the photo okay, …

    How about if approximately 535 top people from DC were dressed up in antlers along with one American sniper.

    1. NOT OKAY

        1. MOST DEFINITELY NOT OKAY

          1. POSSIBLY OKAY BUT PROBABLY NOT

  30. Did anyone else think of the Abu Ghraib photos? The prisoner, not hurt, but humiliated.The grin. The pointing finger.

  31. I don’t think the picture is “shocking” or inherently “racist”. Some may consider it in bad taste – but you have to bring a whole boatload of your own prejudice to make it more than that.

  32. I suppose that this means that next time the black friend will be told that he cannot be part of the gag and a white friend will take his place. Ooops… racism rears its ugly head again.

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