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CHICAGO (AP) — Four Chicago police officers fired after being accused of helping cover up the fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald are challenging the decision with separate lawsuits.

Former Sgt. Stephen Franko and former officers Janet Mondragon, Daphne Sebastian and Ricardo Viramontes allege the Chicago Police Board's decision to fire them in July was unlawful.

The Police Board concluded Mondragon, Sebastian and Viramontes exaggerated the threat posed by the 17-year-old McDonald, who was carrying a small knife when white officer Jason Van Dyke fired 16 bullets into him in 2014. Franko was fired for approving their falsified police reports.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has contended the officers gave or approved false statements to have the shooting deemed justified. Van Dyke is serving a sentence of nearly seven years for McDonald's death.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This article originally ran on apnews.com.

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