Three Chicago officers were charged with conspiracy regarding the death of Laquan Mcdonald when he was shot in 2014. They are accused of lying about what really took place in order to curb the criminal investigation on the matter.

Two of the three officers, former Detective David March and former Patrol Officer Joseph Walsh, were no longer in service when the indictment was announced. The third charged individual, Patrol Officer Thomas Gaffney, is still in force and will be suspended without pay as the investigation progresses. The official charges against them are a conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct.

Officials coordinated to protect each other

Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes said that the defendants did not “merely obey an unofficial ‘code of silence’” but they went to the extent of preventing investigators from learning the truth. The statement from Holmes’ office also said that the three officers coordinated their activities in order to protect each other from any charges stemming from the McDonald case as well as protect the main aggressor, Jason Van Dyke.

March, who has been in force for more than three decades, Walsh, who has been an officer for 20 years, and Gaffney, also with the police for almost 20 years, were also accused of preparing, reviewing and approving police reports that were altered. They also did not look for any witness to counter the police report or preserve the evidence from the incident in order to protect Van Dyke.

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They will all be arraigned by July, CNN reported.

What the three officers face if found guilty

If the three officers as mentioned above are found guilty of the charges against them, they face the possibility of three to five years in prison per charge. They could also pay a penalty of $25,000.

Jason Van Dyke charged months ago

The October 2014 killing of McDonald, a 17-year-old black teenager who was shot to death 16 times by Van Dyke while he was walking away from the police, resulted in many protests. The video of the shooting being released also led to more protests because it showed contradictions from almost all of the statements of the police. Police said Van Dyke shot at McDonald as he advanced towards him with a knife but that was not seen in the video as he walked away from the police.

He was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He is currently suspended without pay.