News ID: 136360
Published: 1036 GMT February 06, 2016

'Three US police officers escape punishment by retiring early'

'Three US police officers escape punishment by retiring early'

Three US police officers have retired to evade punishment for their reported involvement in a scandal that led to the killing of a man.

In an incident in 2004, six Chicago police officers were involved in covering up manslaughter by officer Richard Vanecko, a nephew of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley.

Vanecko punched David Koschman in the face. The man died of his injuries 11 days later.

The officer pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in 2014. Six other cops, who faced punishment in the department, helped Vanecko cover up the incident as it had been under investigation.

During a 2011 probe into the death of Koschman, the officers claimed that Vanecko had acted in self-defense. They even fabricated witness claims in order to help close the original investigation.

Citing Police Superintendent John Escalante, Russia Today (RT) reported Thursday that he was pursuing punishments for them thatrange from suspension without pay to job termination.”

Three of the six officers, who were under investigation, however, have now retired. Each one of them is receiving $100,000 annually. The other three officers remain on the force, but they could avoid any punishment by retiring, RT wrote.

The report came as the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Emanuel have been under intense criticism over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer.

A graphic video released in November 2015, showed Officer Jason Van Dyke firing at Laquan McDonald 16 times for at least 15 seconds, even after the black teen fell to the ground.

The video footage prompted demonstrations in Chicago. In response, Mayor Emanuel announced the expanded use of Taser by police, saying “police officers have a very difficult and dangerous job…And like all of us, they are human and they make mistakes."

Chicago police have long been under fire over what critics describe as a police culture of "shoot first and ask questions later."

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