Chicago Police Video of Teen’s Fatal Shooting Stirs Controversy

 Chicago Police Video of Teen’s Fatal Shooting Stirs Controversy

VOA News

Video released Friday by Chicago’s police department shows officers firing repeatedly at a black teenager who had allegedly stolen a car, then handcuffing the teenager as he lay mortally wounded.

The video from the police officers’ body cameras does not show the suspected car thief, Paul O’Neal, being shot in the back. An officer can be heard on the video as O’Neal lay on the ground, bleeding, accusing the teenager of firing at police.

No weapons were found on O’Neal during the July 28 shooting. The video does not show anyone giving aid to the 18-year-old.

Police say the moment of the fatal shooting was not captured on video because that officer’s camera was not recording at the time. Medical examiners ruled the bullet that killed O’Neal was fired into his back.

Before the gunfire began, the video shows O’Neal, at the wheel of an allegedly stolen Jaguar, sideswiping one squad car and then crashing into another police vehicle. Police fired repeatedly at the Jaguar and then pursued O’Neal on foot through a residential neighborhood.

An attorney for O’Neal’s family, Michael Oppenheimer, called for a special prosecutor to investigate the killing. He said the video showed police «taking street justice into their own hands.»

«What I saw were these police officers murdered this kid,» Oppenheimer said. «That’s what I saw. And, you know, if he was in a stolen car, if he was driving a stolen car, that’s for the court system. That is a property crime. … And the last time I checked, the statute did not carry the penalty of death.»

The three police officers involved in the shooting have been stripped of their enforcement authority after a preliminary investigation concluded they had violated police policy.

The killing was one of several high-profile deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police in recent years, including an incident in October 2014 when a white Chicago police officer shot Laquan McDonald, 17. The officer has been charged with murder.