Special prosecutor: More indictments possible in Laquan McDonald case

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Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes | AP

The Cook County grand jury investigating allegations of a police coverup in the Laquan McDonald shooting is still looking at “several individuals” as it weighs further indictments, Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes said Tuesday.

Brown Holmes, who in June announced conspiracy charges against three Chicago Police officers involved in the deadly shooting of McDonald, told Chief Criminal Court Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. that the grand jury would meet at least twice more by the end of October, and would likely vote on whether to hand up indictments before being dismissed.

“There were several individuals whose names came up” during the investigation, Brown Holmes said at the brief hearing, noting that two people subpoenaed by the grand jury had been “unavailable” for medical reasons. “The grand jury would like to have time to allow them to at least be interviewed,” she said.

The hearing, a status update on the progress of the special prosecutor’s investigation, took place about an hour before a separate hearing in the criminal case against officers Joseph Walsh, David March and Thomas Gaffney, who were charged in a conspiracy to cover for fellow Officer Jason Van Dyke by filing false reports after the shooting in 2014.

The CPD investigation initially cleared Van Dyke of wrongdoing, despite his firing 16 shots into McDonald as the 17-year-old appeared to be walking away from Van Dyke and his partner, Walsh.

In 2015, the day before the court-ordered date that dashboard camera video of the shooting was to be released, then State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced murder charges against Van Dyke. Brown Holmes was appointed as special prosecutors after local civil rights attorneys lobbied the court to investigate the CPD investigation of the shooting.

March led the investigation, and Gaffney signed off on a statement that backed up Van Dyke’s account of the shooting.

The grand jury will meet in September and October, Brown Holmes said.

Walsh, Gaffney and March on appeared at their hearing in front of Judge Domenica Stephenson, where Brown Holmes said she and lawyers for the three attorneys still were exchanging “volumnious” evidence requests.

Lawyers for the three officers declined to comment.

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