Cop conspiracy trial ends — but judge will wait two weeks to decide case

A Prepare dinner County decide stated she is going to take two weeks to think about a verdict in the unprecedented trial of three Chicago cops charged with filing false stories meant to scuttle the investigation into the capturing dying of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke.

After 5 days of testimony spanning two weeks, Decide Domenica Stephenson stated Thursday she is going to announce her verdict Dec. 19 within the trial of Chicago Police Department Officer Thomas Gaffney, former Officer Joseph Walsh and former Detective David March. The case marks the primary time CPD officers have faced felony fees for maintaining the so-referred to as “code of silence,” with each officer dealing with fees of official misconduct, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

In closing arguments, Particular Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes opened with a reference to the dashboard digital camera video of Van Dyke capturing McDonald sixteen occasions in the midst of a Southwest Aspect intersection the night time of Oct. 20, 2014, pictures that she stated contradicts key statements the three officers included of their stories on the capturing.

“This case is about public belief,” stated Holmes, a former federal prosecutor and Prepare dinner County decide. “It boils right down to what the defendant wrote on paper in black and white versus what’s on video.”

The three defendants all had key roles in the McDonald capturing or the investigation that adopted. March was the lead investigator in a CPD probe that ultimately cleared Van Dyke of wrongdoing. Walsh was standing next to Van Dyke as Van Dyke opened hearth on McDonald, and backed up Van Dyke’s account that McDonald was shifting towards them. Gaffney and his associate have been the primary officers to encounter McDonald, and he was behind the wheel of a police SUV when McDonald stabbed the tire, then the windshield, of the car.

In a case built largely around a handful of strains in a whole lot of pages of stories filed by the defendants, prosecutors and the protection have sparred over the Police Division’s tips for who information what report, and when, in addition to the idiosyncrasies of the computer software officers used to enter their studies. As evidence of a broad conspiracy, prosecutors pointed to equivalent phrasing in those reviews, and that the officers had milled round and talked about what occurred with March at Space Central headquarters.

March’s lawyer, former prosecutor James McKay, argued that the errors have been minor or debatably true, and he stated March carried out a radical investigation that reached an inexpensive conclusion — that Van Dyke was justified in capturing McDonald.

“They need to criminalize an individual’s opinion,” McKay stated. “We don’t do this in the USA of America.”

In an hour-long monologue, McKay cited numerous crimes dedicated by McDonald within the minutes before he was shot — from slashing a knife at a civilian that confronted him on a truck lot to stabbing Gaffney’s police cruiser — and pointed to state regulation that permits police to make use of…

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