Cops Acquitted Of Laquan McDonald Cover-Up

January 17, 2019 - 3:25 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) --  A judge has acquitted three Chicago police officers of trying to cover up the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald to protect another officer who pulled the trigger.

Judge Domenica Stephenson said Thursday that after considering all of the evidence, including police dashcam video of the killing, she did not find that officer Thomas Gaffney, Joseph Walsh and David March conspired to cover up the shooting.

The prosecution's case centered on crucial discrepancies between what was on the dashcam video and what the officers wrote in their reports, contending that the reports' remarkable uniformity was evidence that the officers were trying to protect Van Dyke from criminal prosecution.

But the judge rejected that argument, saying the officers at the scene had different vantage points than the dashcam video that was key to convicting the officer who fired the shots.

Police officers in the courtroom gallery clapped a little when Stephenson was done delivering her verdict.

The officer who shot McDonald 16 times, Jason Van Dyke, was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in October and is due to be sentenced Friday

A relative of Laquan McDonald has expressed dismay at the verdict issued Thursday.

The Rev. Marvin Hunter, who is McDonald's great uncle, said "the verdict is that if you are a police officer, you can lie, cheat and steal."

Hunter added that "to say that these men are not guilty is to say that Jason Van Dyke is not guilty."

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