Family of man in controversial police photo calling for action

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CHICAGO -- The family of the man in a racially-charged photo is calling for action tonight, saying there were more photos and more officers involved at the police station on Harrison and Kedzie.

Michael Smith’s son Michael Lamont Spann-Smith is the man featured in a controversial photo with two former Chicago police officers. The photo was taken at the West Side police station in 2003. The image shows two officers, Timothy McDermott and Jerome Finnigan, kneeling over McDermott was fired over the photo, but sued to get his job back.

This week a Cook County judge upheld the firing.

Finnegan lost his job years ago.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison on income tax evasion and murder for hire charges.

The controversy over the photo all stems from an incident in 2003 when Spann-Smith and his uncle Robert Smith were arrested.

Robert Smith says he was falsely accused, then abused at the police station and watched as at least four police officers participated in the degrading photos.

He says there are more photos and is calling for those photos to be made public.

Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy called the photo disgusting and says the investigation into the photo remains active.

Michael Spann-Smith was killed in 2007. His murder is unsolved. His father has hired an attorney and says he plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the police department.

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2 comments

  • Hector

    CPD has no credibility Garry McCarthy and Anita Alveraz would defend John wayne Gacey if he was a police officer. So a police investigation and a charge by Alveraz is a joke

  • Scott

    We wouldn’t be talking about this if the dirt bag hadn’t gotten himself in a situation where the police had to be called in the first place. Hell, we wouldn’t have had problems in Ferguson, MO or Baltimore, MD if the idiots didn’t have the cops called on them or if they had listened to the cop’s instructions to begin with.