Video from cop shooting shows Chicago police firing at fleeing car in neighborhood – Los Angeles Times

Videos from the fatal shooting of Paul O’Neal by Chicago police show officers firing into a car that was being driven away from them and, later, officers handcuffing O’Neal as he lay wounded behind a home.

Acting with uncharacteristic swiftness, Chicago officials on Friday released nine videos showing events leading up to the shooting of O’Neal, 18, last week.

The release came around 11 a.m. Friday, less than two hours after the head of the Chicago police oversight agency said the video footage was “shocking and disturbing” and that her heart goes out to the family of O’Neal.

The dead man’s family was so distraught after viewing videos at the Independent Police Review Authority headquarters Friday morning that they left without making any public comment, their lawyer told reporters.

“It is one of the most horrific things I have seen,” Michael Oppenheimer, the family’s lawyer, said of the videos.

The videos show police shooting into a car in the moments before O’Neal fled and an officer fatally shot him in the back. The fatal shots are not shown on video but can be heard.

The video clearly shows officers firing down the street at the car as it speeds away.

The city’s use of force policy explicitly bars police from shooting into a car when the vehicle represents the only danger.

The videos are laden with profanity. “I think I shot that …, man,” one officer can be heard to say. He tells other officers the person he shot is lying three houses over. “Think I’m good – bunch of shots,” the officer says.

The head of the Chicago police oversight agency says video from the fatal shooting of the 18-year-old by police is “shocking and disturbing” and said her heart goes out to the victim’s family.

“We just came from watching Chicago police officers execute Paul O’Neal,” Oppenheimer said of the videos. “These police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner.”

Oppenheimer noted that no body camera captured the actual fatal shooting. He accused the officers of intentionally doing that.

“They decided they would control this, so the cover-up has begun,” he said.

Ja’Mal Green, an activist who is acting as the family’s spokesman, called it “amazing” how the officers “treat us like savages.” He said the officers showed no remorse, letting O’Neal lie handcuffed “for a long time.”

“That was very shocking to me,” he said. “It was very hard for me to watch this video as well.”

Sharon Fairley, chief administrator of the Independent Police Review Authority, said in a statement Friday that the agency is proceeding “as deliberately and expediently as possible in pursuit of a swift but fair determination” into the fatal shooting of O’Neal.

O’Neal was shot July 28 on the city’s South Side after he ran from a reportedly stolen sports car.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson took quick action after the shooting, stripping three officers of their police powers and saying it appeared they had violated departmental policies. O’Neal’s family is suing the department.

Chicago police officers tried to stop O’Neal about 7:30 p.m. July 28 in the South Shore neighborhood as he drove a reportedly stolen Jaguar convertible, police said. Surveillance cameras tied O’Neal and three others to a series of car thefts, officials said.

O’Neal struck two Chicago police vehicles in the sports car, and two officers fired at him while he was in the car, authorities said. O’Neal fled from the car, police said, and a third officer chased him behind a home. After O’Neal refused to stop, the officer shot him.

O’Neal, who was unarmed, died of a gunshot wound to the back, authorities said.

The shooting itself was not captured on video, department officials said, even though the officer who chased and shot O’Neal was wearing a body camera. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pointed to body cameras as a tool to build trust in the police; department officials have not said why the camera did not record the shooting.

The city’s quick moves after O’Neal’s shooting show how much has changed in the eight months since the release of video of a white police officer shooting black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. The officer who shot McDonald, Jason Van Dyke, is charged with murder.

The McDonald video — and long-simmering dissatisfaction with police use of force among many African Americans — led to sustained protests, and the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation to determine whether police had systematically violated residents’ rights. Federally enforced changes could come from that ongoing investigation, and Emanuel has announced or enacted a raft of reforms to policing and officer oversight.

Hinkel writes for the Chicago Tribune


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10:10 a.m.: This article has been updated with news that nine police videos have been released in the shooting.

This article was originally published at 9:15 a.m.


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