Chicago Police Officer Thomas Gaffney, center, former Detective David March, left, and ex-Officer Joseph Walsh, right, at a pretrial hearing with Judge Domenica A. Stephenson on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Ill. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Three Chicago police officers, one who is currently suspended and two former officers, were found not guilty of falsifying reports and conspiring to cover up the 2014 death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, after he was shot sixteen times by police officer Jason Van Dyke.
Joseph Walsh, who is no longer on the force, was Van Dyke’s partner the night of the shooting, former detective David March and suspended officer Thomas Gaffney were charged with official misconduct, obstruction of justice and conspiracy, according to theChicago Suntimes.
“We cannot now view the actions of the officers with the benefit of hindsight,” Judge Domenica Stephenson said, during the verdict announcement. Judge Stephenson ruled Thursday afternoon the state did not meet the burden of proof
“The judge listened to the evidence in this case (…) and it was clear from a written ruling, which you all now have a copy of, that she heard every word of the testimony in this trial and she concluded, as we did a year before, that there never was a case here,” one of the attorneys representing officer Joseph Walsh said after the ruling.
Last October, Van Dyke was convicted on second-degree murder charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.