Officers face charges related to 2014 fatal shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald
A suspended Chicago Police officer and two former officers pleaded not guilty Monday to allegedly covering up the fatal shooting of a black teen.
Joseph Walsh, David March and Thomas Gaffney are facing charges related to the 2014 killing, the most serious of which is obstruction of justice that carries a maximum of five years in prison.
They were indicted last month on charges alleging they worked to coordinate their stories in the aftermath of McDonald's fatal shooting to protect the officer who opened fire.
In addition to obstruction they face charges of official misconduct and conspiracy.
All three were allowed to go free pending trial on $50,000 bond after their arraignment. They are expected to return to court in late August.
McDonald was shot 16 times by police after they say he approached them while wildly swinging a knife, and later attempted to get up while armed after being shot by officer Jason Van Dyke.
But police dashcam footage released last year appears to show McDonald walking away from the officers when he was shot. Officers can then be seen kicking an object from McDonald's hands.
Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in a separate trial.
He and other officers were responding to calls that McDonald was slashing tires in a Chicago neighborhood.
Walsh and March left the Chicago Police Department. March, who was a detective, concluded McDonald's shooting was justified.
A special prosecutor was appointed last year to investigate, leading to the charges Walsh, March and Gaffney are facing.