The Cook County render a stunning decision in the Laquan McDonald cover-up trial.
The death of a 17-year old teenager named Laquan McDonald quickly became a linchpin to protests over Police Brutality all across the Nation. Jason Van Dyke, responsible for shooting McDonald 16 times October 20, 2014, was convicted of murder last year. While that case was unfolding, officer Thomas Gaffney, former officer Joseph Walsh, and former detective David March were all entrenched in a legal battle over their roles in the alleged cover-up of Van Dyke borderline "police work" resulting in McDonald's death.
Cook County Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson ruled in favor of acquitting all three men implicated in the case - charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct all wiped clean by the court of law. A jarring video of the incident in 2015, in which McDonald non-aggressivity is all-too-apparent; the dash cam captured him turning his back on the officers when the first shots were fired.
Over the past several months, critics and experts have argued that Van Dyke's cover-up trial was essentially just a mock-up test. The public, who'd already grown distrustful of the Chicago PD, wanted to gauge the depth of a bespoken "code of silence" within their ranks. In a City mired by years of police corruption, all it takes is one fatal mistake.