The pros­e­cu­tors

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGOLAND -

Ap­pointed spe­cial prose­cu­tor in 2016 to in­ves­ti­gate the way po­lice han­dled the McDon­ald shoot­ing, Holmes has held a wide range of pub­lic po­si­tions: state and fed­eral prose­cu­tor, chief as­sis­tant cor­po­ra­tion coun­sel for the city and Cook County judge. She also was ap­pointed the in­au­gu­ral chair of the state Tor­ture In­quiry and Re­lief Com­mis­sion, which in­ves­ti­gates claims of po­lice abuse. A can­cer sur­vivor who grew up on the Far South Side, Holmes has been in pri­vate prac­tice since 2005 and is a found­ing part­ner of the Ri­ley Safer Holmes & Can­cila law firm.

Ron­ald Safer: In his years as a fed­eral prose­cu­tor, Safer rose through the ranks as he spear­headed many ma­jor cases, in­clud­ing the land­mark tri­als against the Gang­ster Dis­ci­ples gang lead­ers, in­clud­ing Larry Hoover. Af­ter go­ing into pri­vate prac­tice, he helped lead a re­view of the city’s po­lice dis­ci­plinary prac­tices in 2014. As a part­ner at Ri­ley Safer Holmes & Can­cila, he fo­cuses on white-col­lar crime and civil lit­i­ga­tion and does pro bono work in wrong­ful-con­vic­tion cases.

Brian Wat­son: In ad­di­tion to a law de­gree, Wat­son holds

The de­fen­dants

A de­tec­tive for more than two decades, March, 60, was the lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor in at least 30 po­lice-in­volved shoot­ings be­fore tak­ing on that role in McDon­ald’s death. He left the de­part­ment af­ter the city in­spec­tor gen­eral’s of­fice rec­om­mended his fir­ing. March told the in­spec­tor gen­eral his in­ves­ti­ga­tion found the ac­tions of all the of­fi­cers were "ab­so­lutely proper" and that Van Dyke was jus­ti­fied in killing McDon­ald.

Joseph Walsh: Walsh, 49, was Van Dyke’s part­ner for only the sec­ond time the night of McDon­ald’s shoot­ing. He is the only one of the three de­fen­dants who ac­tu­ally wit­nessed the teen be­ing shot. He tes­ti­fied at Van Dyke’s trial this fall in mem­o­rable fash­ion, at one point step­ping down from the wit­ness stand to re-en­act the way he said McDon­ald threat­ened po­lice with the knife. Walsh also left the de­part­ment af­ter the in­spec­tor gen­eral rec­om­mended his dis­missal.

Thomas Gaffney: Gaffney, 45, was one of the first po­lice of­fi­cers to en­counter McDon­ald that night. He fol­lowed the teen for a few blocks in a squad car while his part­ner trailed him on foot. McDon­ald used his knife to pop the tire and stab the wind­shield of Gaffney’s squad car. Gaffney has been sus­pended with­out pay since his in­dict­ment last year.


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