CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of ministers and community leaders gathered outside of police headquarters Wednesday to say the indictment of three Chicago Police officers for allegedly covering up how 17-year-old Laquan McDonald died in 2014 is an important step, but only a first one.
Kofi Ademola, an organizer with Black Lives Matter, said few police officers are charged in such cases no matter what the evidence, and said far fewer result in convictions. He said the falsification of reports filed by officers in the McDonald case is obvious, and the outcome should be as well.
Amedola said the nation will be watching Chicago when Officer Jason Van Dyke is tried for murder for shooting McDonald 16 times in October 2014, and when the three officers accused in the alleged cover-up of the shooting are tried for conspiracy and obstruction of justice. If the officers are acquitted, Ademola said he could see “chaos happening,” especially because the video appears to tell one story, and the police reports something totally different.
The Fraternal Order of Police lodge issued a statement which called the indictments “politically motivated,” and the indicted officers “scapegoats.”
“What would you expect from the Fraternal Order of Police?” Rev. Dr. Leon Finney Jr. said on behalf of Black Lives Matter.
Rev. Michael Pfleger said the relationship between residents of the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, where his church is located, and police are so bad that he wouldn’t think of hosting a sit-down to try to rebuild trust.
Rev. Marshall Hatch said the worst fear of some “good cops” with whom he has spoken is that they will be asked to cover up and lie as the officers indicted this week allegedly did.
The newly-indicted officers are free pending arraignment on July 10.