Did you wonder why the Chicago Police dashcam video that showed the fatal (and brutal) shooting of Laquan McDonald didn’t have any sound? Its microphone was not working, and as DNAinfo in Chicago has discovered, the police department seems to have a bit of a problem with officers’ dashcams and microphones cutting out, sometimes due to what was classified by the department itself as “intentional damage”:
Maintenance records of the squad car used by Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald, and his partner, Joseph Walsh, show months-long delays for two dashcam repairs, including a long wait to fix “intentional damage.”
On June 17, 2014, police technicians reported fixing a dashcam wiring issue in police vehicle No. 6412, the squad shared by Van Dyke and Walsh, about three months after it was reported broken, records show.
A day later, the same vehicle’s dashcam system was reported busted again. It took until Oct. 8, 2014, to complete repairs of what technicians deemed “intentional damage,” according to reports.
Just 12 days later, on Oct. 20, 2014, dashcam video recorded from squad car No. 6412 on the night Van Dyke shot and killed McDonald did not record audio. The video that went viral showing Van Dyke killing Laquan was taken from a different squad car, but it, too, had no audio.
DNAInfo notes that four other police cars on the scene failed to record audio and only two of the five cars that had dashcams actually caught any video. On the night of the shooting one reported a “power issue” that kept the camera from being used, but technicians reported no actual problems upon inspection.