Indictment of officers another blow to Chicago police

FILE- In this Oct. 20 2014 file image taken from dash-cam video provided by the Chicago Police Department Laquan McDonald right walks down the street moments before being fatally shot by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke in Chicago. Three Chicago

In an indictment approved Monday and announced Tuesday, a Cook County grand jury alleges that the three current and former officers lied about the events of October 20, 2014 when Officer Jason Van Dyke shot the black teenager 16 times.

The Chicago Police Department called in on the radio requesting a taser, but when Van Dyke and his partner responded to the call, it was never clear whether they had the weapon or not.

The indictment accuses the the defendants of lying, falsifying police reports, conspiring to hide the "the true facts of the events", and misrepresenting video evidence of the fatal shooting.

The Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald testified in court in a surprise development after three of his colleagues were indicted.

The case marked the first time a Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty killing in nearly 36 years. It revealed that although McDonald was clutching a knife, he tried to move away from the police officers as they arrived on the scene. However, none of them are directly held accountable for the death of the teenager as they did not fire the shot that killed him. The city announced a series of policing reforms in the wake of the outcry over McDonald's death, while the Chicago Police Department previous year also recommended firing several officers for lying about McDonald's killing, including Van Dyke.

Police video contradicts this depiction.

"The shooting of Laquan McDonald forever changed the Chicago Police Department and I am committed to implementing policies and training to prevent an incident like this from happening again", Eddie Johnson, the Chicago police superintendent, said in a statement. "But it certainly is a historic and significant event in terms of criminally charging police officers who engage in a code of silence".

A still from the Laquan McDonald dashcam video. The officers have each been given a conspiracy charge and an official misconduct charge, which carry sentences of up to five years, according to NBC News.

According to the inspector general, Walsh too had made numerous false statements and significant omissions in his interview with the police and the Independent Police Review Authority, that investigates police shootings.

Later, the three officers submitted "virtually identical" reports on officer injuries, claimed they'd all been hurt in the confrontation with McDonald.

Don't lie. If you do, you could be prosecuted and go to jail. This grand jury investigation is a totally separate grand jury investigation from Office Van Dyke's case.

In the 11-page indictment Van Dyke is referred to as Individual A and as a part of the conspiracy.



Other news