Chicago police officers indicted in Laquan McDonald case

28 June, 2017, 02:46 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Chicago police officers indicted in Laquan McDonald case

Officer Jason Van Dyke now faces murder charges for the death of the 17-year-old who was holding a knife and at a distance from police when he was shot 16 times in October 2014.

The three officers, either Van Dyke's work partner or police investigator, was accused of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice, according to the indictment announced on Tuesday.

This is a developing story. The shooting led to calls for reforms and fueled a national conversation about police use of deadly force.

"The defendants allegedly lied about what occurred and mischaracterized the video recordings so that independent criminal investigators would not learn the truth about the killing and the public would not see the video recordings", Holmes said in the statement.

April 15: The Chicago City Council votes to approve a $5 million settlement with McDonald's family.

The officers allegedly began to conspire nearly immediately on October 20, 2014, "to hide the true facts of the events surrounding the killing of Laquan McDonald" and "to shield their fellow officer from criminal investigation and prosecution".

Police dash cam footage showed that McDonald was armed with a knife but not moving toward the responding officers when he was shot.

Video released in 2015 showed white officer Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times as the teen was apparently walking away from officers.

December 9: Emanuel apologizes for McDonald's killing in a speech before the City Council.

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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.

The city concealed police dashcam video of the shooting, amid an investigation by March that initially cleared Van Dyke of any wrongdoing.

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

Holmes was appointed last July to investigate whether officers at the scene attempted to cover up or lie to justify Van Dyke's actions.

The indictment also alleges that the conspiracy included an effort not to try to locate and interview three witnesses whose accounts of what happened were not consistent with the police version of events.

Among other steps the officers took was to prepare police reports that falsely portrayed themselves as victims of McDonald, according to the indictment says.

After the officers were indicted, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the department would continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

November 16: A special prosecutor says a grand jury has been impaneled to hear evidence into a possible cover-up by Chicago police officers in the McDonald shooting.

March 23: A grand jury adds 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm to the first-degree murder charges against Van Dyke in the McDonald shooting.

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