Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Chicago police officers indicted in Laquan McDonald case

New dash cam video shows Laquan Mc Donald pursuit WLS The ABC7 I Team has obtained new police dash cam video of Laquan Mcdonald's deadly encounter with police
Saul Franklin | 28 June, 2017, 02:31

June 27: Three Chicago police officers are indicted on felony charges that they conspired to cover up the actions of Van Dyke in the killing of McDonald.

"The co-conspirators created police reports in the critical early hours and days following the killing of Laquan McDonald that contained important false information", says the indictment in which the three are charged with felony counts of obstruction of justice, official misconduct and conspiracy.

A grand jury indicted Detective David March and patrol officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and misconduct related to the aftermath of 17-year-old McDonald's death in October, 2014.

February 16: The city of Chicago says it will start releasing videos of police shootings and in-custody deaths within 60 days, after being criticized for refusing to release the McDonald shooting video for more than a year.

"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. Gaffney said that McDonald had popped one of the tires on his police vehicle with a knife and submitted a report in which he is alleged to have lied that McDonald committed a battery on three officers.

The court papers said that their goal was "shield their fellow officer from criminal investigation and prosecution" and prevent the public from seeing what happened.

The report, which was shown to be false in light of the dash-cam video, stated that McDonald was assaulting the three officers, forcing Van Dyke to step in to defend them.

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Johnson didn't comment specifically on the indictment.

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

Jeffrey Neslund, an attorney who helped negotiate a $5 million settlement with the city on behalf of the McDonald family, welcomed the indictments.

A grand jury investigation into the case is continuing, Holmes said.

November 24: More than a year after the shooting, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced she was charging Van Dyke with first-degree murder.

April 12: A task force established by Emanuel to look into police practices in the wake of the McDonald shooting says the department must acknowledge its racist past and overhaul its handling of excessive force allegations. He also pleaded not guilty to murder in 2015 and is awaiting trial. If convicted, each of the parties involved can face years in prison. He has been accused of official misconduct.

The arraignment is July 10, where the men will enter pleas.

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