On July 28, Chicago cops shot and killed 18-year-old Paul O’Neal. He was allegedly in a stolen car, which sped off during an attempted traffic stop. At least two cops opened fire. The city’s Independent Police Review Authority started investigating because it was an officer-involved shooting. But the IPRA had already been mired in well-publicized controversy, and it released bodycam and dashcam footage way earlier than expected.
Several videos were released to the IPRA’s Vimeo page, but here are two: the first depicts the shooting itself, and the other its direct aftermath. Please note that these depict graphic content, including violence and language.
Bodycam Video #1
Bodycam Video #4
The point-of-view officer in the first video complained about being put on possible desk duty because of this. He was one of the cops who opened fire on the car, but it’s unclear whose bullets hit O’Neal.
He also said he opened fire after the car allegedly almost hit another officer. Yet another one suggested that the people in the car opened fire on law enforcement.
A police spokesman later told ABC News that investigators didn’t find a gun.
The IPRA released the footage earlier than expected (they typically wait 60 days) because of intense scrutiny and criticism from even before the shooting happened. In May, Mayor Rahm Emanuel even went as far as to announce he wanted to replace it with a civilian agency. The Chicago Police Department has been lambasted recently for the high-profile shooting of Lacquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old. O’Neal is also black, and the police have been criticized for how they treat black suspects.
O’Neal’s family saw the videos before those were made public, but they declined to speak to reporters on Friday.
“We just watched the family watch the execution of their loving son,” said the family’s attorney Michael Oppenheimer, according to DNAinfo. “It is one of the most horrific things that I have seen aside from being in a movie. These police, these police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner. The family was so distraught … that they have left.”
According to Fox News, a memo sent by Chicago police honchos warned officers that the release of the footage would encourage anti-cop violence.
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