Chicago police cite reforms after 3 indicted

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Three current or former Chicago police officers were charged with multiple felonies Tuesday in connection with their involvement in the investigation into the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald.

According to the indictment, charged are Detective David March, a police veteran of more than 30 years; Patrol Officer Joseph Walsh, with about 20 years as an officer; and Thomas Gaffney, also a patrol officer with almost two decades of experience on the force.

Dashcam video of Van Dyke shooting the black teen 16 times as he walked away from police has caused a firestorm of controversy and led to calls for major reforms of the Police Department.

In November a year ago, a grand jury was convened to investigate allegations that Chicago police had covered up details of the incident to protect Van Dyke from criminal charges and internal discipline.

This is a breaking news story. Read the indictmentThe prosecutor says the officers gave false information, made false police reports, failed to report or correct false information, ignored contrary information or evidence, obstructed justice, failed to perform a mandatory duty, and performed acts each knew he was forbidden to perform, the indictment alleges.


The indictment charged that all three created police reports in the hours after McDonald's 2014 killing that contained false information in an attempt to prevent a criminal investigation.

Despite what the video captured, one police report said the footage "was viewed and found to be consistent with the accounts of all the witnesses". The video showed McDonald did not lunge at officers with a knife before Van Dyke opened fire.

Johnson said in a statement in response to the indictments that he is "committed to implementing policies and training to prevent an incident like this from happening again". Kevin Graham, president of the officers' union, said the union has not yet reviewed the indictment and declined to comment because it's an ongoing investigation.

Chicago police didn't immediately respond to the charges.

Official misconduct is punishable by forfeiture of office, up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine; obstruction of justice is punishable by up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine; and conspiracy is punishable by a fine and a prison sentence not to exceed the underlying offense. How March, Walsh and Gaffney - whose collective time on the force amounts to at least 70 years - intend to plead remains unknown.

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