Posted on August 5, 2016

Chicago Officials Release ‘Horrific’ Video Showing Events Leading Up to Fatal Police Shooting of Black Teenager

Dan Hinkel, Chicago Tribune, August 5, 2016

Videos from the fatal shooting of teenager Paul O’Neal by Chicago police show officers firing into a car that was being driven away from them and, later, officers handcuffing O’Neal as he lay wounded behind a home.

Acting with uncharacteristic swiftness, Chicago officials on Friday released nine videos showing events leading up to the shooting of O’Neal, 18, last week.

The release came around 11 a.m. Friday, less than two hours after the head of the Chicago police oversight agency said the video footage was “shocking and disturbing” and that her heart goes out to the family of O’Neal.


The videos show police shooting into a car in the moments before O’Neal fled and an officer fatally shot him in the back.

The fatal shots are not shown on video but can be heard.

The video clearly shows officers firing down the street at the car as it speeds away.

The city’s use of force policy explicitly bars police from shooting into a car when the vehicle represents the only danger.


Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson took quick action after the shooting, stripping three officers of their police powers and saying it appeared they had violated departmental policies. O’Neal’s family is suing the department.

Chicago police officers tried to stop O’Neal about 7:30 p.m. July 28 in the South Shore neighborhood as he drove a Jaguar convertible reported stolen in suburban Bolingbrook, police said. Surveillance cameras tied O’Neal and three others to a spree of car thefts, officials in the suburb said.

O’Neal struck two Chicago police vehicles in the sports car, and two officers fired at him while he was in the car, authorities said. O’Neal fled from the car, police said, and a third officer chased him behind a home. After O’Neal refused to stop, the officer shot him.

O’Neal, who was unarmed, died of a gunshot wound to the back, authorities said.

The shooting itself was not captured on video, department officials said, even though the officer who chased and shot O’Neal was wearing a body camera. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pointed to body cameras as a tool to build trust in the police; department officials have not said why the camera did not record the shooting.


Johnson broke with tradition by saying police appeared to have violated departmental policy in the O’Neal case. The superintendent, who was appointed by Emanuel amid the political crisis sparked by the McDonald video, issued an unusual department-wide memo saying that the information he had on the shooting “left (him) with more questions than answers.”


The three officers are stripped of police authority pending an internal investigation and an inquiry by IPRA, which is also in transition. {snip}


The department revised its deadly force rules in February 2015 to ban firing into a vehicle when the automobile is the only force used against an officer or bystander.