Posted on April 25, 2024

Family of Man Killed When Chicago Police Fired 96 Times During Traffic Stop File Wrongful Death Suit

Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, April 24, 2024

The family of a Chicago man killed when plainclothes police officers fired their guns nearly 100 times during a traffic stop filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday, accusing the department of “brutally violent” policing tactics.

The 76-page federal complaint alleges the officers violated multiple laws and police department policies during the “predatory, violent, unlawful traffic stop” on March 21 that left 26-year-old Dexter Reed dead.

A police oversight agency released videos and documents this month. The agency has said Reed fired at the officers first. The footage raised questions about the officers’ use of force and tactical squads that use unmarked police cars. Community activists have called for the officers to be fired immediately. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office is also investigating.

The lawsuit claims the officers didn’t properly identify themselves as police, lacked reasonable suspicion to stop Reed, escalated the situation by immediately drawing guns and shouting profanity-laced commands, and failed to provide timely medical care as Reed lay in the street.

“Chicago Police Department leaders promote brutally violent, militarized policing tactics,” the lawsuit alleges. “The pretextual stop of Dexter Reed, and the escalation exhibited by the offending police officers, created an environment that directly resulted in his death.”

Police have said little about the shooting that left one officer injured, initially noting an “exchange of gun fire.” {snip}

According to their early findings, Reed fired first. Then officers returned fire, shooting 96 shots over a span of 41 seconds, according to COPA. Reed was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The suit does not mention investigators’ finding that Reed shot first.