Three Chicago police officers were indicted on charges of conspiring to cover up alleged wrongdoing by Officer Jason Van Dyke in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
Detective David March and patrol Officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice.
There were at least 10 officers on the scene when McDonald was killed in November 2014. Officers said in their initial reports that the teen was charging the officer, and the shooting was justified, but videotape released later showed that McDonald was on the ground and about 10 feet away from Van Dyke when he pumped 16 bullets into him.
“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,” according to a statement by Patricia Brown Holmes’ office, the assigned special prosecutor.
Van Dyke previously pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm–accounting for each shot Van Dyke fired with his gun. The officer was suspended in November 2015 without pay.
An arraignment for March, Walsh and Gaffney is set for July 10.
A Chicago judge will allow Van Dyke’s statements to now-retired Det. March to be used against him, but will prevent statements from Cmdr. David McNaughton to be used in court, CBS Chicago writes.
According to the outlet, the judge also granted limited immunity to March and McNaughton.