Three Chicago police officers were indicted Tuesday on state felony charges for allegedly conspiring to cover up the shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014.
Detective David March and patrol officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney were charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct in an indictment that was voted on by a Cook County special grand jury on Monday.
The indictment accuses the three cops, along with another officer identified only as “Individual A,” of trying “to conceal the true facts of the events surrounding the killing of LaQuan McDonald ... to shield their fellow officer from criminal investigation and prosecution,” according to Fox 32.
They allegedly lied in an attempt to stop the public from seeing video recordings of the incident that “would inexorably lead to a thorough criminal investigation by an independent body and likely criminal charges.”
Walsh was the partner of officer Jason Van Dyke, who fired 16 shots into McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014, allegedly as the victim walked away. Van Dyke was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct in 2015 after dashcam video was released of the incident, and again charged this March with 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, ABC 7 reports.
All three men mishandled key evidence and submitted reports that described an incident far different from what the rest of the world saw on the dashcam video released a year later, according to the indictment.
March quit after a city inspector released a report that accused him of giving false information to the medical examiner’s officer, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Patricia Brown Holmes, a special prosecutor appointed to the case, announced the charges 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, according to Fox 32.
She also noted that her investigation is ongoing.