3 Cops Accused of Cover-Up in Laquan McDonald Shooting

Chicago officers face multiple charges in 2014 death of black teen
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2017 3:20 PM CDT
3 Chicago Cops Charged in Shooting of Laquan McDonald
In this Oct. 20, 2014 file image taken from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department, Laquan McDonald, right, walks down the street moments before being fatally shot by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke in Chicago.   (Chicago Police Department via AP, File)

(Newser) – Three current and former Chicago police officers have been charged with attempting to cover for former Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times while he walked away. The Chicago Tribune reports David March, Joseph Walsh, and Thomas Gaffney have been charged with conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice. An indictment alleges they falsified police reports and ignored evidence in order "to shield" Van Dyke from prosecution. Van Dyke was charged with murder in 2015 after a judge ordered dashcam footage of the 2014 shooting of the black teen be released. The three officers' "virtually identical" police reports said dashcam footage backed up their version of events. It did not.

The indictment states the three officers didn't want the footage released because it “would inexorably lead to a thorough criminal investigation by an independent body and likely criminal charges," the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Special prosecutor Patrician Brown Holmes says the officers "lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth." According to the AP, the indictment also alleges they purposefully didn't try to find witnesses to the shooting who would contradict their stories. Both Walsh and March have resigned from the police department since McDonald's death. The Chicago Police Department hasn't commented on the indictment. (Read more Laquan McDonald stories.)

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