Three More Chicago Police Officers Charged In The Laquan McDonald Case

Three More Chicago Police Officers Charged In The Laquan McDonald Case

Three More Chicago Police Officers Charged In The Laquan McDonald Case

Three Chicago police officers were indicted Tuesday on felony charges that they conspired to cover up the actions of a white police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, saying the officers lied when they alleged the teenager "aggressively" swung a knife at officers and attempted to get up from the ground still armed with the knife after he was shot.

A Cook County special grand jury approved the three-count indictment Monday and the charges were filed Tuesday.

"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", Holmes said in a statement, according to CBS.

The police officers were indicted for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy in an attempt to prevent or shape the independent criminal investigation into McDonald's police-involved shooting death, according to a release from Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes.

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Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer accused of murder in the shooting of McDonald, was charged in March with 16 new counts of aggravated battery. Van Dyke has since been charged with murder, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Walsh, 48, and Gaffney, 43, have both about 20 years on the Chicago Police Department.

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Dashcam video of Van Dyke shooting the black teen 16 times as he walked away from police has caused a firestorm of controversy and led to calls for major reforms of the Police Department. A video of the shooting, released in 2015, sparked days of protests and thrust Chicago into a national debate over the use of excessive force by police against minorities.

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The three officers and others conspired immediately after the shooting "to hide the true facts of the events surrounding the killing of LaQuan shield their fellow officer (identified only as Individual A) from criminal investigation and prosecution", the indictment reads.

The indictment also says the officers failed to interview at least three witnesses whose versions of the events were different than those of police.

The officers will be arraigned July 10.

March was a police officer for more than 30 years, authorities said.

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In fact, the police report described Van Dyke, Walsh, and Gaffney as "victims" of McDonald. She told reporters the investigation is ongoing.

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