CHICAGO (AP) — A grand jury has indicted three Chicago police officers on felony charges that they conspired to cover up the actions of a white officer now charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
The Cook County, Illinois, indictment was announced Tuesday, a day after being approved. It alleges the officers lied about the events of Oct. 20, 2014, when Officer Jason Van Dyke shot the black teenager 16 times. Two of the indicted officers are no longer with the department.
Here are key moments in the case:
Oct. 20: Van Dyke fatally shoots McDonald after responding to a call about a teenager breaking into cars. Other officers back Van Dyke’s claim that McDonald, who had a small knife with its blade folded, posed a threat to Van Dyke’s life.
April 15: The Chicago City Council votes to approve a $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family.
Nov. 24: More than a year after the shooting, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced she was charging Van Dyke with first-degree murder. Hours later, the city responds to a judge’s order and releases dashcam video of the shooting that shows McDonald veering away from officers. The footage appears to contradict the accounts of Van Dyke and the other officers on the scene. The video’s release sparks days of protests.
Dec. 1: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fires Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy after a public outcry over the handling of the McDonald case.
Dec. 7: The U.S. Department of Justice announces that its civil rights division will investigate the police force, looking for patterns of racial disparity in its use of force.
Dec. 9: Emanuel apologizes for McDonald’s killing in a speech before the City Council. He says that the police force needs “complete and total reform.”
Dec. 16: A grand jury indicts Van Dyke on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct.
Feb. 16: The city of Chicago says it will start releasing videos of police shootings and in-custody deaths within 60 days, after being criticized for refusing to release the McDonald shooting video for more than a year.
April 12: A task force established by Emanuel to look into police practices in the wake of the McDonald shooting says the department must acknowledge its racist past and overhaul its handling of excessive force allegations. It also recommends abolishing the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates officer misconduct.
April 21: Emanuel announces changes in the way police shootings and misconduct cases are handled, but draws criticism for stopping short of abolishing the Independent Police Review Authority.
May 13: Emanuel announces that he is abolishing the Independent Police Review Authority and replacing it with the Civilian Police Investigative Agency, which will have more independence and resources.
June 3: Chicago releases hundreds of videos that offer startling glimpses into violent encounters involving police, including the fatal shooting of a robbery suspect speeding toward officers in a van and an incident in which an officer slammed his night stick against a man’s head at a party.
Aug. 18: Superintendent Eddie Johnson says that seven Chicago police officers should be fired for filing false reports in the McDonald shooting.
Oct. 7: Johnson releases details of a proposed new policy that would require officers to use the least amount of force necessary and emphasizes the “sanctity of life.”
Nov. 16: A special prosecutor says a grand jury has been impaneled to hear evidence into a possible cover-up by Chicago police officers in the McDonald shooting.
Jan. 13: The Justice Department announces the findings of its civil rights investigation. It says the Police Department has violated the constitutional rights of residents for years — permitting racial bias against blacks, using excessive force and killing people who didn’t pose a threat. It concludes that the pattern was attributable to “systemic deficiencies” within the department and the city, including insufficient training and a failure to hold bad officers accountable for misconduct.
March 23: A grand jury adds 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm to the first-degree murder charges against Van Dyke in the McDonald shooting. The new indictment raises the number of felony counts against Van Dyke to 23.
May 17: The Police Department releases a new use of force policy that requires Chicago officers to undergo de-escalation training and imposes stricter rules on when they can fire their weapons at fleeing suspects.
June 3: Media reports say the city of Chicago and the Justice Department have negotiated a draft agreement that calls for an independent monitor to oversee reforms for the police force, which is the nation’s second largest. But it is unclear if there will be court oversight at some stage in the future.
June 14: Several leading community groups, including a local Black Lives Matter organization, file a class-action lawsuit against Chicago in a bid to bypass or even scuttle a draft agreement between the city and the Justice Department that seeks to reform the police force without federal court oversight.
June 27: Three Chicago police officers are indicted on felony charges that they conspired to cover up the actions of Van Dyke in the killing of McDonald.
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