The Latest on the trial of three Chicago police officers accused of trying to cover up the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald (all times local):
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.
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 judge is set to announce a verdict for three Chicago police officers accused of lying in their reports to protect the officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald.
Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson has scheduled a hearing Thursday afternoon to announce her decision in the cover-up trial of David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney. They are charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that the reports written by the three about the October 2014 shooting included some of the same lies they say were designed to protect Officer Jason Van Dyke.
Defense attorneys dismissed any suggestion that the officers created a cover story to help Van Dyke.
Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder in October. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Friday.