In Chicago, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets and blocked traffic in a series of demonstrations following the release of video showing the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager. The newly released video from police body cameras shows the moments before and after police killed 18-year-old Paul O’Neal on July 28. In the video, police are seen shooting repeatedly at the car O’Neal was driving, which police say was stolen. The video then shows a police officer running over to O’Neal, who is lying face down in a growing pool of blood surrounded by other officers. The officers then handcuff O’Neal with his arms behind his back and search his backpack, as he continues bleeding. Afterward, one of the officers can be heard complaining that he’ll be on desk duty for 30 days. Listen carefully.
Police officer: “[Expletive] I’m going to be on a desk for 30 goddamn days now. [Expletive] desk duty for 30 days now. [Expletive]!”
Paul O’Neal died shortly afterward at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office says he was shot in the back. Police say they are investigating why the body camera worn by the police officer who shot O’Neal did not capture the actual moments of the fatal shooting, why it wasn’t on. This is Michael Oppenheimer, the O’Neal family’s attorney.
Michael Oppenheimer: “Officers cannot exact their own street justice. They cannot play judge, jury and executioner. That’s what happened here today. And their attitude after the shooting, while Paul lay dying on the ground handcuffed, demonstrates that.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said people “have a right to be upset.” He spoke Saturday.
Superintendent Eddie Johson: “I was concerned by some of the things that I saw in the videos, and that’s why we took such a swift action, such a swift action that we did last week.”
Police say three officers have been suspended in relation to the shooting. The release of the video comes as Chicago police face ongoing accusations of racism and a federal investigation into their practices after Chicago waited more than a year to release video of the fatal police shooting of African-American teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014.