No more indictments for Chicago police in Laquan McDonald shooting

By Suzannah Gonzales
FILE PHOTO: Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke sits in the courtroom during a hearing in his shooting case of Laquan McDonald at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 23, 2016. REUTERS/Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/Pool/File Photo

By Suzannah Gonzales

CHICAGO (Reuters) - No more Chicago police officers will be indicted in connection with the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white officer, a county prosecutor told a judge on Tuesday.

A video of the shooting of McDonald, 17, released in the fall of 2015, prompted days of protests and the ouster of the city's police chief, and put the spotlight on Chicago in a national debate over the use of excessive force by police against minorities.

Three Chicago Police Department officers were indicted in June for conspiring to cover up the shooting death of McDonald by Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with murder in the shooting.

A special grand jury concluded its inquiry and has been discharged, according to a statement from Cook County Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes.

The grand jury, which operates in secret, continued its investigation after issuing the indictment against the three men and examined the conduct of other individuals, but did not return further indictments, prosecutors said. The grand jury met many times over the past year, prosecutors said.

Chicago police officers David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. They pleaded not guilty in July.

A Dec. 18 court hearing has been set for the three men.

Walsh and March are no longer with the force. Gaffney was suspended without pay. Chicago police did not immediately respond to questions about Gaffney's employment status. All three men are white.

Van Dyke pleaded not guilty in 2015. In March, he pleaded not guilty to 16 new counts of aggravated battery.

No trial date has been set.

(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales, Editing by Ben Klayman and Richard Chang)