Grand jury charges 3 Chicago cops, alleges cover-up in Laquan McDonald killing
By Brian Seay
A special grand jury indicted three Chicago police officers on several felony charges Tuesday, alleging they lied to cover up the police killing of Laquan McDonald in 2014.
Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes announced at a press conference that Detective David March and Officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney are being charged with obstruction of justice, official misconduct and conspiracy.
The grand jury, composed of 16 jurors and 10 alternates, has been working since late last year to determine whether officers lied to protect Officer Jason Van Dyke, who killed McDonald after shooting him 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014.
“This indictment alleges that these defendants lied about what occurred during a police involved shooting in order to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth,” Holmes said. “The indictment makes clear that it is unacceptable to obey an unofficial code of silence.”
Police reports filed by officers at the scene noted that McDonald had a knife, and that Van Dyke feared for his life. The reports say the 17-year-old “swung the knife toward the officers in an aggressive manner” and that McDonald was “attacking Van Dyke with the knife” before Van Dyke opened fire “in defense of his life.” Yet, a dash cam