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The Cop Who Shot Laquan Had A Role In Another Controversial Police Shooting

By Kate Shepherd in News on Dec 3, 2015 7:00PM

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who's been charged with first degree murder for the death of Laquan McDonald, had a role in the alleged cover-up of another police-involved shooting in 2005, according to the Tribune.

Van Dyke admitted, as part of an ongoing civil lawsuit against the city, that he did not conduct his own interviews of witnesses to the 2005 fatal shooting of Emmanuel Lopez and instead just copied the work of other officers on the scene.

His role is minor but noteworthy as the Lopez family's lawsuit heads to trial in February. Chicago police allegedly shot the 23-year-old janitor 16 times without justification and came up with a story that "they were acting in self-defense because Lopez tried to run over an officer with his car."

Lopez led police on a short chase following a hit-and-run fender bender as he drove to his job as an overnight janitor in a sausage factory. Law enforcement claimed that he used his car to partly run over one of the cops as he was trying to escape.

The case only raises more questions about the Chicago Police Department's cover-ups and misconduct, the Tribune writes:

Van Dyke's actions in McDonald's death, his emerging role in the Lopez shooting and more than a dozen allegations of misconduct filed against him over the years that never resulted in discipline paint a vivid picture of what critics contend is a decades long refusal by city officials to properly police their own department.

Van Dyke wasn't present for the shooting but was one of the first cops to arrive at the scene after the incident. He was supposed to write a "general offense case report," with a narrative of the event and basic information about the people involved, but instead used the narrative from the detectives' report without attributing it to them, he said in his deposition.

The off-duty officer who fired 11 of the 16 shots, Pedro Solis, admitted to drinking before the shooting in his own deposition.