Three current or former Chicago Police officers have been indicted on state charges of conspiracy, obstruction and misconduct in regard to the investigation of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.
Detective David March and Patrol Officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice, according to a news release from the special prosecutor’s office. The three-count indictment was publicly released Tuesday.
In a city where police officers are rarely charged with murder, much less conspiring to cover one up, the indictment marks a stunning departure from the past.
“The indictment makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial ‘code of silence,’ rather it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth,” Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes said in a news release.
Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times in October 2014. He was charged with murder in late 2015 after a Cook County judge a police dash cam recording of the shooting to be released.
The defendants are accused of lying repeatedly about what happened and mischaracterizing the video recordings so that investigators would not learn the truth about the killing and the public would not see the video recordings because they knew that the public airing of the shooting details and video “would inexorably lead to a thorough criminal investigation by an independent body and likely criminal charges.”Chicago sun-times
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