State

Prosecutors finish case against officers accused of cover-up

Prosecutors Ron Safer (from left), Brian Watson and Patricia Brown Holmes confer during the trial of Chicago police officer Thomas Gaffney, former Detective David March and ex-officer Joseph Walsh on Tuesday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.
Prosecutors Ron Safer (from left), Brian Watson and Patricia Brown Holmes confer during the trial of Chicago police officer Thomas Gaffney, former Detective David March and ex-officer Joseph Walsh on Tuesday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.

CHICAGO – A judge has denied defense requests for directed acquittals in the trial of three Chicago police officers charged with lying about the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson on Tuesday evening rejected the defense contention that prosecutors failed to prove their case. Stephenson is hearing the case in a bench trial, without a jury.

Prosecutors earlier Tuesday rested their case after a witness read emails that they contend suggest the officers' superiors were intent on protecting the white police officer who fired the fatal shots.

The emails between a lieutenant and sergeant are part of prosecutors' attempt to show a widespread effort to protect Jason Van Dyke. But none of the emails were to or from the three officers charged with official misconduct, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

The trial resumes Thursday.

Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder in October.

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