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Thursday, May 28, 2015
More Than Decade-Old Prank Photo Costs Chicago Cop His Job
Timothy McDermott (right) with Jerome Finnigan (left) and unidentified man
A prank photo taken more than a decade ago of two Chicago police officers holding guns while standing over a black man wearing deer antlers resulted in the police officer's firing last year. Despite evidence the man wearing the antlers consented to participating in the prank photo, the Chicago Police Department fired Officer Timothy McDermott last year because the photo, which was described as "degrading and humiliating," discredited the department, disrespected a citizen and unnecessarily displayed a gun. Chicago police had sought to keep the photo sealed, but a Cook Co. judge hearing an appeal of a police board decision to fire McDermott ordered its release. The other officer in the photo, Jerome Finnigan, is a former police officer now in jail for unrelated crimes he committed as a police officer in the department's now disbanded Special Operations Section. Federal prosecutors uncovered the photo during the investigation of Finnigan and turned it over to Chicago police. The case provides an interesting contrast to the case of the now-deceased Officer Gregory Slaven, who posted numerous images on social media of his BDSM lifestyle that some people would consider "degrading and humiliating."