Three Chicago policemen charged with covering up fatal shooting


Van Dyke, 38, now faces charges of first-degree murder and official misconduct. According to Holmes, March, Walsh and Gaffney, 43, "conspired in the critical early hours and days... to hide the true facts of the events surrounding the killing of Laquan McDonald... to shield their fellow officer from criminal investigation and prosecution". Initial police reports indicated that McDonald was swinging at and threatening Van Dyke and other officers on the scene.

In the hours and days after Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot a 17-year-old boy to death, his fellow cops allegedly did all they could to make it seem as if he'd done nothing wrong. More than a year after McDonald was killed, authorities released video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke firing 16 rounds at the teenager.

All three men are expected to be arraigned July 10. Asked about that possibility in a news conference Tuesday, Brown Holmes said a couple of times, "The investigation continues".

The Fraternal Order of Police did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment. Walsh, who was Van Dyke's partner, resigned from the department in August 2016.

A Cook County special grand jury approved the three-count indictment Monday and the charges were filed Tuesday.

A still from the Laquan McDonald dashcam video.

However, the indictment issued Tuesday says David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney lied about the shooting events and that their narratives contradict what can be seen on police dashcam video. Walsh, 48, and Gaffney, 43, have both about 20 years on the Chicago Police Department.

A woman who said she witnessed the shooting, Alma Benitez, has filed a federal lawsuit against more than 40 police officers, claiming she was pressured to retract her statement that the shooting was not justified.

Police dash cam footage showed that McDonald was armed with a knife but not moving toward the responding officers when he was shot. But other officers - including the three now charged with crimes - backed up Officer Van Dyke's account of what happened that night: that Mr. McDonald had moved menacingly toward him with a knife. The indictment also notes that "others known and unknown" to the grand jury aided the conspiracy, implying that the case could expand. "We will also continue to implement meaningful reforms that build community trust, provide greater training and resources to our dedicated officers, and make Chicago safer". "There was no goal why they had to shoot him", Alma Benitez told reporters the night of the shooting.

Van Dyke's criminal case, like all such cases, will be hard for prosecutors to win. Gaffney is "suspended because of the felony indictment, according to the department".

McDonald's death is among a string of high-profile police-involved killings of black suspects that have stirred racial tensions and set off nationwide protests over what many believe are injustices within the justice system. He allegedly repeated the claim in another report.

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