A new judge will hear the case involving three Chicago police officers who allegedly covered up for Officer Jason Van Dyke in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chief Criminal Court Judge Leroy Martin Jr. has stated that Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson will manage the case against Officers David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney.
Special prosecutor Patricia Brown filed a motion to exchange Cook County Judge Diane Gordon Cannon for a different judge. The request was granted because state law allows prosecutors to request a substitute for a judge they believe to be prejudiced against a case, with no explanation needed.
Last week the arraignment for the three officers was delayed after the first judge, Mary Margaret Brosnahan, recused herself. Cannon was the second judge to manage the case of the three officers, who are being charged with counts of conspiracy, misconduct and obstruction of justice for allegedly filing false reports in the 2014 shooting of Laquan by Officer Van Dyke.
Van Dyke, who is facing first-degree murder charges in a separate case, fired 16 shots at Laquan, claiming that the teen was approaching him and his partner, Walsh. However, dashcam video revealed that Laquan was, in fact, walking away from officers when the fatal shots were fired.
Officer March was the head detective investigating the shooting, during which he filed reports that supported Van Dyke’s version of the events leading up to the shooting. Officer Gaffney, who has signed reports stating that officers were injured by Laquan, was behind the wheel of the police SUV when Laquan slashed the vehicle’s tires with a knife, the Sun-Times reports.
Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times.