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Released photo shows prisoner dressed as prey between police officers with shotguns

The photo dates from a decade ago, but will do little to ease racial tensions in the US.

cops Source: Cook County Court File

A PHOTO, WHICH appears to show two armed Chicago police officers on either side of a prisoner dressed in deer antlers and pretending to be dead, is set to cause an outrage in the US.

The photo, released by Cook County judge Thomas Allen yesterday, shows officers Jerome Finnigan (left) and Timothy McDermott holding rifles while an unidentified black man in antlers lies between them in a traditional ‘hunter and prey’ pose.

The photo was apparently taken between 1999 and 2003 and was uncovered during an FBI investigation into Finnigan, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Neither Finnigan nor McDermott are currently with the Chicago force. Finnigan is serving 12 years for a slew of crimes including robbery and home invasion, while McDermott was fired last October over the photo according to the Sun-Times.

According to the report the black man in the photo was not even arrested as he didn’t have a serious criminal background. He remains unidentified.

Reaction to the photograph being made public has been one of outrage.

“As far as I’m concerned for that officer, good riddance. You don’t belong in the Police Department,” Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel told CNN affiliate WLS.

Meanwhile, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy told the Sun-Times in a statement that the actions displayed in the photo are “disgusting”.

“The despicable actions of these two former officers have no place in our police department or in our society,” he said.

As the superintendent of this department, and as a resident of our city, I will not tolerate this kind of behavior, and that is why neither of these officers works for CPD today.

The publication of the photo comes at a time of heightened racial tensions in the US after a spate of deaths of African Americans at the hands of police officers.

In April, unarmed black man Walter Scott was shot eight times in the back by police officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina, with the whole incident being captured on video.

Most recently, Baltimore, Maryland was subject to days of extended rioting at the start of May after the death of Freddie Gray, who had his spine broken while in police custody.

Read: Six police officers charged over death of black man who had spine broken

Read: Explainer: What is happening in Ferguson, Missouri?

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