A special grand jury looking into an alleged police cover-up in the controversial shooting of Laquan McDonald has completed its work without indicting any supervisors. An advocacy organization said that shows the weaknesses of the Chicago criminal justice system in rooting out a “culture of corruption.”
Cook County special grand jury has been disbanded without charging any additional Chicago police officers, including department supervisors, for their handling of Laquan McDonald’s controversial fatal shooting by an officer, says the Chicago Tribune. At a hearing Tuesday, special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes said the grand jury has completed its investigation. That means no other officers, including higher-ups who signed off on allegedly false reports of the shooting, will be indicted. Just three lower-level cops–two patrol officers and a detective–were charged.
The MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University said the inability to indict supervisors involved in the alleged cover-up showed the weaknesses of the criminal justice system in rooting out a “culture of corruption” and underscored the need for a court decree overhauling the Police Department’s operations. Outside the courtroom, activist Will Calloway, whose efforts helped make public the video of McDonald’s shooting, said higher-ranking department officials should be charged, he said. “The other officers lied, too, on their police reports,” Calloway said. The court-ordered release in 2015 of video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting McDonald 16 times a year earlier sparked widespread protests, the firing of Chicago’s police superintendent and a damning report of police practices by the U.S. Department of Justice. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges.