Officials in Chicago on Friday released video footage from a fatal encounter between law enforcement and an 18-year-old car theft suspect who was killed by police in the shooting late last month.
The nine video clips, some of which were from police body cameras, help show how the July shooting of Paul O’Neal unfolded, though authorities have previously said the fatal gunshot itself was not visually captured on a recording.
On one of the released clips, a body camera shows an officer climbing out of a cruiser, gun in hand, as a car approaches. Several shots are fired as the car speeds away. A foot pursuit begins, and an officer yells, “Shots fired by the police!”
The gunfire continues as police scramble on the scene.
Video also shows a suspect on the ground, surrounded by officers during his arrest. The footage, which contains profanity, shows police handcuffing the suspect, who is lying on his stomach with blood on his back. That person was identified as O’Neal in media reports.
“F—, man, I’m gonna be on a desk for 30 g—— days now,” says one officer, who said he fired shots and is presumably wearing the body camera, after the chase ends. “F—— desk duty for 30 days now. Motherf——.”
At one point after the arrest, while police were discussing whether they had opened fire during the pursuit, an officer asks: “They shot at us, too? Right?”
In another clip, an officer searched for a stun gun, which had apparently been lost in the pursuit.
“Man, I think I shot that m———–, man,” the officer said. “S—.”
O’Neal’s family viewed the video Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“We just watched the family watch the execution of their loving son,” Michael Oppenheimer, a lawyer representing O’Neal’s family, told reporters. “It is one of the most horrific things that I have seen, aside from being in a movie. These police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner.”
The Associated Press reports that according to authorities, the fatal shot wasn’t captured on video because a body camera wasn’t recording when the incident occurred. An autopsy determined that the 18-year-old died from a gunshot wound that he suffered on his back, according to AP.
From the wire service:
Soon after the July 28 shooting, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stripped three of the officers of their police powers after a preliminary investigation concluded they had violated department policy. On Friday, he promised that if the officers acted improperly, they would “be held accountable for their actions.”
Authorities have not said specifically what policy the officers broke.
The release of the video clips come at a time of increased tensions between members of law enforcement and civilians across the country. Recordings of fatal shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota recently sparked more conversations about the use of deadly force in police work, and the fatal shootings of officers in Dallas this summer left many voicing concerns about dangers police face when they are on duty.
“Please bear in mind that this video material, as shocking and disturbing as it is, is not the only evidence to be gathered and analyzed when conducting a fair and thorough assessment of the conduct of police officers in performing their duties,” Sharon Fairley, the chief administrator of Independent Police Review Authority, said in a statement released to USA Today. “To that end, IPRA is conducting a full and thorough investigation of the entire incident including the use of force, the pursuit, body camera usage and all other possible policy and procedural violations that occurred during the incident.”