CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors in the trial of three Chicago police officers charged with lying about the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald have finished presenting their case, and defense attorneys have asked the judge for directed acquittals.
The moves Tuesday came after a witness read emails that prosecutors contend suggest the officers' superiors were intent on protecting the white police officer who fired the fatal shots. The emails between a lieutenant and sergeant are part of prosecutors' attempt to show a widespread effort to protect Jason Van Dyke.
But none of the emails were to or from the three officers charged with official misconduct, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. They wrote in their reports that McDonald lunged at Van Dyke with a knife, even though video of the shooting doesn't show him doing that.
Defense attorneys asked the judge for directed acquittals — a procedural device to take the decision out of the hands of the jury — saying prosecutors haven't proven their cases. The judge didn't rule on that immediately.
Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder in October.