Saturday, July 22, 2017

29.1 - Good News: cops charged with hiding evidence

Good News: cops charged with hiding evidence

Starting out with some Good News - although there is sort of a theme that developed, as you will see.

But we start with Good News out of bad news.

On Oct 20, 2014, Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke killed LaQuan McDonald. More than a year later, a suit forced the city to release the dashcam video of the incident - which proved that McDonald was walking away from Van Dyke when Van Dyke shot him. As McDonald lay on the ground, Van Dyke proceeded to shoot him fifteen more times.

When the video came out, Van Dyke was charged with six counts of murder and later with 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. His trial has yet to begin.

So what's the Good News? Last month, three Chicago cops were indicted on state felony charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct for conspiring to cover up the facts of the shooting by mishandling key evidence, lying on official reports describing what happened, and giving false information to the medical examiner's officer.

The three - Detective David March and patrol officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney - allegedly lied in an attempt to stop the public from seeing the video recording of the shooting because they knew that would lead to a thorough investigation and likely criminal charges.

So the Good News is that as the result of the tragedies and protests of the past few years we as a society seem a little more willing to at least consider holding cops responsible for their actions - and the fact that this indictment is a direct blow against the "blue wall of silence" is even better.

Unfortunately, while we seem to have gotten a little better at charging cops when they needlessly kill, we seem no better at convicting them. So consider this very tempered Good News.

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