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Judge Acquits Officers in Laquan McDonald Cover-up

Prosecutors alleged that they were trying to protect another officer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 17, 2019 4:22 PM CST
Joseph Walsh, left, David March, and Thomas Gaffney.   (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) – A judge has acquitted three Chicago police officers of trying to cover up the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald to protect another officer who pulled the trigger, the AP reports. Judge Domenica Stephenson said Thursday that after considering all of the evidence, including police dashcam video of the killing, she did not find that officers Thomas Gaffney, Joseph Walsh, and David March conspired to cover up the shooting.

The prosecution's case centered on crucial discrepancies between what was on the dashcam video and what the officers wrote in their reports, contending that the reports' remarkable uniformity was evidence that the officers were trying to protect Jason Van Dyke from criminal prosecution. But the judge rejected that argument. Van Dyke, who shot McDonald 16 times, was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in October and is due to be sentenced Friday.

(Read more police shooting stories.)

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