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3 Chicago Cops Charged With Obstruction in Alleged Cover-Up of Laquan McDonald Shooting

LaQuan McDonald
Laquan McDonald

*Three current and former Chicago police officers are indicted on charges of conspiring to cover up alleged misconduct by Officer Jason Van Dyke in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice, according to a press release Tuesday from the prosecutor’s office.

“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 the release.

Officer Van Dyke shot 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 three 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 to keep the footage from the public, believing its airing “would inexorably lead to a thorough criminal investigation by an independent body and likely criminal charges.”

Via Chicago Sun Times:

March, 58, is a police veteran of more than 30 years and is the detective who prepared the reports on the shooting that indicated it was justified. Walsh, 48, and Gaffney, 43, have both about 20 years on the Chicago Police Department. All three men are expected to be arraigned July 10 at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Walsh, who was Van Dyke’s partner, resigned from the department in August 2016. 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.

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