Stories by Matt Masterson

Defense Denies Conspiracy as Key Ruling Looms in McDonald Cover-Up Trial

Attorney Todd Pugh, right, representing Joseph Walsh, cross-examines witness Jose Torres at the trial of Chicago police Officer Thomas Gaffney, former Detective David March and ex-Officer Joseph Walsh on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

A delayed ruling on key evidence will extend the special prosecution’s case into next week. The latest from the trial of three Chicago police officers accused of attempting to cover up the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

McDonald Cover-Up: Key State Witness Says Detective Lied in Report

Chicago police Officer Dora Fontaine takes the witness stand on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Chicago police Officer Dora Fontaine testifies on day two in the trial of three Chicago police officers accused of conspiring to cover up details of the Laquan McDonald shooting. 

Prosecutors Say Police ‘Violated Public Trust’ in Alleged McDonald Cover-Up

Background: Ex-Officer Joseph Walsh, second from left, former Detective David March, center, and Chicago police Officer Thomas Gaffney arrive in court on the first day of trial on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Foreground: Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes, right, and special prosecutor Ron Safer, left. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Were three Chicago cops adhering to an unofficial “code of silence” when they allegedly tried to cover up details of the Laquan McDonald shooting? Or were they simply working by the book? The latest from the courtroom.

Who’s Who in the Laquan McDonald Shooting Conspiracy Trial

Photo of an image taken on Oct. 20, 2014 at the scene where Laquan McDonald was fatally shot. This image was shown on a screen to jurors during Jason Van Dyke’s trial for the shooting death of McDonald. (Chicago Police Department)

Three current and former Chicago police officers will go on trial this week, accused of attempting to cover up details of the high-profile shooting. Here are the key names to know as the case gets underway.

Former DePaul Staffer Charged With Stealing Laptops From University

A former DePaul media production specialist allegedly stole university computers, but was tracked down because she continued using the equipment at her home.

City Mourns Officer, Staff Killed in Mercy Hospital Shooting

Dr. Tamara O’Neal, left, Chicago police Officer Samuel Jimenez and pharmaceutical resident Dayna Less. (Franciscan Health / Chicago Police Department / Facebook)

A mass shooting at a Chicago hospital left four people dead, including an emergency room doctor, a police officer with less than two years on the force and a first-year pharmaceutical resident.

Teen Charged After Fireworks Incident Inside Morgan Park High School

An Instagram video that captured the incident Tuesday morning shows students yelling and running through smoke-filled hallways after the fireworks were set off. A 16-year-old now faces a felony charge.

Prosecutors Seek Witness Immunity as McDonald Conspiracy Case Heads to Trial

From left: Former Chicago Detective David March, officer Thomas Gaffney and former officer Joseph Walsh attend a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Special prosecutors believe it will take less than a week to present their case against a trio of current and former Chicago police officers accused of trying to cover up the 2014 shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald.

Retired Police Commander Allegedly Stole $360,000 in Social Security Funds

Retired police Commander Kenneth Johnson speaks to “Chicago Tonight” during an interview on May 4, 2017.

Kenneth Johnson spent more than three decades with the Chicago Police Department, but federal prosecutors allege the former commander stole $360,000 in Social Security funds over the course of 23 years.

Security Guard Killed by Midlothian Cop Ignored Orders to Drop Gun: Report

Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins (Chicago Tonight)

State investigators say the armed security guard fatally shot by a Midlothian police officer outside a south suburban bar early Sunday was not wearing anything that identified him as security and ignored repeated orders to drop his weapon.

Bitcoin and Fraud: Chicago’s First Cryptocurrency Theft Prosecution

Joseph Kim, 24, will spend 15 months in federal prison after defrauding his former employer and a handful of investors out of more than $1 million in cash and cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Litecoin. 

Oak Park and River Forest Teen Charged With Sending Swastika to Classmates

Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF / Facebook)

A 14-year-old suburban student is facing a criminal charge after allegedly sending classmates an image of a Swastika over their phones during a school assembly last week.

Swastika Image Sent to Oak Park and River Forest High School Students

Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF / Facebook)

A suburban high school is once again investigating an incident involving an anti-Semitic message sent to students only days after racist messages were found written throughout its campus.

Man Charged With Hate Crime For Allegedly Drawing Swastikas on Buena Park Homes

Heath Levey (Chicago Police Department)

Chicago police say Heath Levey used chalk to draw the Nazi symbol on fences and garages earlier this month. Levey faces multiple felony hate crime charges.

Community Gathers Record $150K Reward to ID Suspect in Rogers Park Murders

The reward is said to be the largest in the city's history as Chicago police continue their attempts to identify the masked gunman.

Chicago Police Union Severs Ties With Van Dyke Defense Attorney

Defense attorney Dan Herbert, center, reacts to Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan’s remarks during the murder trial of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, right, on Oct. 3, 2018. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

The Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago will no longer refer cases to Dan Herbert, a private defense attorney and former Chicago police officer who previously worked as an FOP staff attorney.

Chicago Teen Charged in Trio of Carjackings

The 17-year-old suspect now faces two felony counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon and one felony count of aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

McDonald Conspiracy Case Moves Ahead as Judge Refuses to Toss Charges

Back row, from left: Chicago police Officer Thomas Gaffney, ex-Officer Joseph Walsh and former Detective David March at a pretrial hearing on on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Seated in front are their attorneys, William Fahy, left, and Thomas Breen. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

Three current and former Chicago police officers accused of trying to cover up details of the Laquan McDonald shooting will stand trial for their alleged crimes.

Ogden Principal Removed Amid ‘Falsified’ Attendance Records

William B. Ogden Elementary School

Chicago Public Schools on Thursday afternoon announced Ogden Principal Michael Beyer has been “reassigned from his principal duties” months after his school completed a merger with Jenner Elementary.

Chicago Police Sergeant Implicated in Beating of 2 Men Outside Bar

Injuries sustained by Tomasz Stacha, left, and John Sherwood after a September 2018 attack outside the Andersonville bar @mosphere. (Courtesy Cavanagh Law Group)

An off-duty sergeant and suburban officer allegedly beat two men in an unprovoked attack outside a gay bar in September. But weeks after they were identified, no criminal charges have been filed.

Suburban Police Chief Charged With Distributing Sexual Recordings

Christian Daigre (Chicago Police Department)

A Chicago police spokesman is calling allegations against the Chicago Heights Park District police chief “egregious” and, if proven, “a disgraceful abuse of power and trust.”

Jason Van Dyke Makes First Court Appearance Since Murder Conviction

Jason Van Dyke (Courtesy Rock Island County Jail)

Defense attorneys for the Chicago cop convicted of second-decree murder in the fatal shooting of black teen Laquan McDonald are asking a judge to toss out the convictions or grant a new trial.

Judge Delays Ruling on Request to Toss Charges in McDonald Conspiracy Case

From left: Former Chicago Detective David March, officer Thomas Gaffney and former officer Joseph Walsh attend a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

A Cook County judge will decide next week whether she’ll grant a request to dismiss charges against three Chicago police officers accused of working to cover up the shooting death of black teen Laquan McDonald, less than a month before they are set to face trial.

Wrongfully Convicted Man Claims Chicago Police Framed Him for 2000 Murder

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

The lawsuit claims nine Chicago cops “withheld exculpatory evidence, manipulated witnesses, and misdirected the investigation” in order to frame an innocent man for the murder of a Cook County Sheriff’s deputy.

CPS Enrollment Drops to 360,000 Students

New data shows enrollment at Chicago Public Schools dropped by just over 10,000 students since last year. The district is now in danger of losing its title as the third-largest school district in the country.

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