Footage released on Friday shows Chicago police officers repeatedly firing at a car as it tries to go away. All the 9-videos evidence shows officers mortally shooting an 18-year-old black boy, Paul O’Neal, who was at the wheel during the chase.
The recording released on Friday shows a stolen black Jaguar being pursued by officers as it passes a stop sign. The suspect allegedly sideswipes one police car and then strikes another as officers chase him down a driveway in a neighborhood after the suspect flashed with the vehicle. A few seconds later, multiple shots are heard. The incident took place on July 28 in Chicago. Then, an officer is heard angrily shouting at the suspect while putting him in handcuffs as he lies facing down. In the footage, it is possible to see that the teen’s shirt is all covered in blood, mortally wounded on the ground in a backyard.
The police officer who shot the black teenager is not identified in the footage because the officer’s body camera didn’t record the moment he started shooting.
Chicago police department learned that no guns were found at the scene and that the officer who shot O’Neal in the back violated police policy.
Federal civil rights lawsuit against officers
O’Neal’s family on Monday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers. The O’Neals allege that officers shot at the teen without lawful justification or excuse.
Michael Oppenheimer, an attorney representing the O’Neal family, said the video shows officers taking street justice into their hands. A per Oppenheimer, police played judge, jury and executioner roles during the chase conducted over the 18-year-old teenager.
Oppenheimer praised in a way the early release of the nine videos, he called however for a special prosecutor to take part in O’Neal’s process.
A police department policy forbids firing into a moving vehicle when the vehicle is the only force used against the sworn member or another person. Further on, police officers cannot legally shoot suspects unless they pose a threat to an officer’s life or unless the officer has a good-faith belief the suspect poses a substantial danger to the public. Authorities have not specified which policy the officers broke.
In a statement released on Friday, Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, vowed full cooperation and commitment to the investigation that will be in charge of the Independent Police Review Authority – the agency that investigates Chicago police misconduct.
The statement comes as an attempt to regain public confidence in Chicago’s police department after the videos released last year displaying a white officer shooting to death to a black teenager named Laquan McDonald.
“My promise to the people of Chicago is that we will be guided by the facts and should wrongdoing be discovered; individuals will be held accountable for their actions. The shooting of Mr. O’Neal has raised a lot of questions about whether departmental policies were followed… (We) will not wait to look for ways we can learn from this incident,” Johnson said in the statement.