It didn’t take long for the accuser to become the accused.
Minutes after he announced a $15 million lawsuit against the city of Chicago and two police officers for a shooting that left him with seven gunshot wounds, a 25-year-old man was taken into custody on a murder warrant.
Dominiq Greer told reporters in Chicago that he was shot multiple times as he ran from police on July 4, 2014, according to the Chicago Tribune.
He had just stepped outside the office building where his news conference was held Wednesday when an unmarked police vehicle pulled up and a pair of officers arrested him, the Tribune reported.
Greer was arrested on an outstanding murder warrant for a killing on the South Side of Chicago on May 27, a police spokesman told The Washington Post. The victim, a 22-year-old man named Kevin Larry, sustained a fatal gunshot wound, the spokesman said.
Greer’s attorney, Eugene Hollander, declined to comment on the case and said he hadn’t had a chance to review the details.
“Whatever pending criminal charges he has against him have nothing to do with a police officer shooting him seven times as he was running away,” Hollander told The Post.
A police spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times that authorities “became aware [Greer] was holding a press conference for a civil suit against the police department, and the police department doesn’t wait to apprehend people accused of murder.”
At Wednesday’s news conference, Hollander showed surveillance video footage that appears to show Chicago police shooting Greer multiple times as he flees two officers on foot.
Greer was one of four people shot by Chicago police during a 36-hour period over the July 4 weekend in 2014, according to USA Today.
On Wednesday, he told reporters police should have chased him instead of shooting at him.
“They should have did their job and try to catch me instead of shooting me,” he said. “If I ain’t never bring no harm to you, why would you bring harm to me.”
“He was just standing around with two of his friends in the street, he sees the police roll up and he takes off,” Hollander added, according to the Sun-Times. “When you’re an African-American in Englewood, it’s understandable.”
Last week, officials in Chicago released a huge array of videos and police reports from about 100 open investigations into police shootings and use of force, a sharp reversal in a city still reeling from the impact of long-withheld footage showing an officer fatally shooting a teenager.
As the city’s police department faces intense scrutiny and a looming Justice Department investigation, authorities promising reform and increased transparency said they were releasing the trove to try and restore trust between officers and the community. The agency that investigates allegations of police misconduct in the city posted this material all at once, which experts said was an “unprecedented” move.
Last week’s release was the latest reverberation to follow the outcry over video of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke firing more than a dozen shots into Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, in 2014. That video, released in November, prompted intense protests over both what was on the recording and the fact that it took more than a year — and a lawsuit — for the city to release it.
Greer has accumulated at least 20 arrests since 2007, the majority for marijuana or trespassing charges that were eventually dropped, according to court records reviewed by the Tribune.
The paper also reported:
He is currently free on bail on an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge stemming from the 2014 police shooting. He pleaded guilty to a domestic battery case in 2013 and was given probation, but that probation was later revoked and he was sentenced to 45 days in jail. He also pleaded guilty in 2011 to a felony charge for marijuana possession and was given two years’ probation.
At Wednesday’s news conference, Greer said he was initially carrying a handgun, but threw the weapon away and posed no threat during his 2014 encounter with police, according to Fox affiliate WFLD.
The first three shots came as he fled, he said, the last four while he was on the ground.
Why did he run from officers?
“I feared for my life, because I see how Chicago police acts every day,” Greer said, according to USA Today.
Greer was shot in his back, chest, legs and arms, the Tribune reported.
His lawsuit accused the two officers involved of using excessive force, “undertaken willfully and wantonly.” It notes that Greer was admitted the hospital in critical condition and “sustained economic injuries, physical injuries, humiliation, and indignities, and suffered great mental and emotional pain and suffering, all to his damage.”
Greer said Wednesday that he remained conscious during his encounter with police and even questioned their behavior.
“I asked why is they shooting me this many times,” he said, according to the Tribune. “I thought I was fixin’ to die.”
“If you had to shoot me to catch me … that’s bad,” he added.
The suit also accuses the Chicago Police Department of maintaining “a Code of Silence regarding its police officers.”
“The agents of the police department ‘tend to ignore, deny or in some cases, cover-up the bad actions of a colleague or colleagues,” the suit adds.
The suit is seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and another $10 million in punitive damages.
Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority told a very different story, according to the Tribune. The Authority claims that after Greer tossed his weapon, it hit the ground and discharged, causing Greer to stumble and hit the ground.
“Officer A ordered Subject 1 to show his hands and told him not to move,” the IPRA report states. “[Greer] ignored Officer A’s verbal direction and stood up with his hands concealed. In fear for his life, Officer A fired his weapon, striking [Greer] multiple times.”
“On hearing the gunshot, the officer reacted by opening fire, according to the IPRA findings,” the report continues. “The officer ordered Greer to raise his hands, but when he failed to do so, the officer fired again, IPRA said.”
Mark Berman contributed to this report.