Three Chicago police officers charged with conspiring to cover up Laquan McDonald shooting – Washington Post


An image taken from the video recording showing Laquan McDonald, right, moments before he was fatally shot. (Chicago Police Department via AP)

Three current or former police officers in Chicago were indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiring to cover up the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager killed by an officer in 2014.

McDonald’s death, captured in a video released the following year that shows him being shot while moving away from officers, set off protests and continues to reverberate through the Chicago police department. The officer who opened fire was charged with murder, while investigators have also focused on the behavior of other officers following the shooting.

The indictment, announced by the special prosecutor investigating McDonald’s shooting, charges the three veteran officers with trying to “conceal the true facts of the events surrounding the killing of Laquan McDonald.”

“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,” Patricia Brown Holmes, the special prosecutor, said in a statement.

McDonald’s death in October 2014 has continued to rock the Chicago Police Department, leading to a sprawling federal investigation and the ouster of the department’s superintendent. More than a year after McDonald was killed, authorities released video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke firing 16 rounds at the teenager. Van Dyke was charged with murder the day the video was publicly released.

While the police union had said McDonald was holding a knife and approaching officers when he was killed, graphic video showed that the 17-year-old was veering away from officers when he was shot. An attorney for Van Dyke has said he feared for his life at the time.

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