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Three Chicago officers plead not guilty in Laquan McDonald case

This undated photo provided by his family shows Laquan McDonald. (Uncredited / Associated Press)
This undated photo provided by his family shows Laquan McDonald. (Uncredited / Associated Press)
By Don Babwin Associated Press

CHICAGO – Three Chicago police officers have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to cover up what happened the night a white officer shot a black teenager 16 times.

Officers Joseph Walsh, David March and Thomas Gaffney made their first court appearances Monday since being indicted last month on charges stemming from the 2014 death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

The indictment alleges the officers lied when they said Laquan aggressively swung a knife and tried to get up, while still armed, after he was shot by Officer Jason Van Dyke.

Dashcam video released a year later shows Laquan was walking away when he was shot.

The judge freed Walsh, March and Gaffney on their own recognizance and ordered they be finger printed. If convicted, they could face prison time.

Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

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