Following the shooting of a 17-year-old boy, Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke and his colleagues did everything they could to cover up all the wrong doings during the incident.
The cover up included false statements implying that the victim had first assaulted the officers; rejecting witnesses’ accounts and misleading officials, according to the charge handed out by the authorities.
In light of those false statements and misleading evidence, the shooting and killing of the teenager was justified. However, the video of the shooting, which authorities delayed releasing to the public for at least a year, blew the cops’ cover up. Eventually, authorities were forced to file murder charges against Jason Van Dyke.
The video, in which Van Dyke can be seen shooting Laquan McDonald at least 16 times, led to serious public outrage and eventually a US Justice Department probe that shows years of systematic civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department.
The report documented a series of abuses including police officers shooting at run-away suspects, the use of force against people, and intentionally botching any investigations into fellow cops’ misconduct.
While Van Dyke awaits trial, earlier this month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed out of talks with officials to negotiate a court-enforced revamp of the police force.
Saying the investigation is an ongoing matter, the CPD’s police union declined to comment. However, Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert said that the real cover-up is now being exposed by the new indictment.
“The officers are charged with conspiring to ensure that ‘the public would not see the video recordings of the event,'” Herbert said. “If true then the entire command staff of the police department, including the former and current superintendents, must be part of the conspiracy considering they were aware of the reports and video when they signed off on the shooting.”
Eddie Johnson, Chicago Police Superintendent, referring to McDonald’s shooting, said, it “forever changed the Chicago Police Department.” He further reiterated his stance and commitment to making sure an incident like this never happens in the future.
“The indictment makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial ‘code of silence,'” the special prosecutor, Patricia Brown Holmes, said in a statement. “Rather, it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth.”