Paul O’Neal: Chicago Police Release Video of Shooing of Unarmed Black Man

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The Independent Police Review Authority released a video on Friday related to a Chicago police officer’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old car theft suspect Paul O’Neal. A spokeswoman for the IPRA said the video was “shocking and disturbing.” The city was required to release the the video within 60 days. Following the shooting three officers were stripped of their police duties after officials determined they had violated department procedures in the shooting.

CHICAGO — Police in Chicago released video Friday showing the July 28 officer-involved shooting of Paul O’Neal, a black, unarmed 18-year-old.

Cops can be heard cursing at O’Neal, whose arms appear limp as he is put into handcuffs; the fatal shooting is not seen on video, but the shots can be heard.

Chicago police, in a nationwide conference call and bulletin, warned of “civil unrest” and potential violence against cops following the department’s anticipated release of video related to an incident in which a black man was fatally shot in the back, two law enforcement officials said Friday.

The officer violated policy in last week’s shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal, the bulletin said.

Sharon Fairley, head of Chicago’s police oversight board, described the video in a statement as “shocking and disturbing” and offered her condolences to O’Neal’s family and friends.

Fairley said the video could be released without jeopardizing the investigation, even though it would happen before the 60-day period outlined in the city’s transparency policy.

The footage “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,” said Fairley, chief administrator of Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority.

The police department released the body and dashcam videos of the shooting at noon Friday.

O’Neal’s family, which filed federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers, was expected to see the video before it was released to the public. The suit, filed Monday, alleges the officers fired at O’Neal “without lawful justification or excuse.”

The nationwide police bulletin said the shooting was “determined to violate their Department policy… Chicago PD anticipates civil unrest.”

O’Neal was shot and died from his injuries after leading a police chase through the South Side of Chicago. He had been suspected of stealing a car.

The body camera of the officer who fatally shot O’Neal did not record when he opened fire, police said.

The officer who fired the fatal shot was in a car that was struck by the car driven by O’Neal.

Whether the crash had an impact on the camera’s ability to record is under investigation, according to police. Investigators are also looking into whether the officer had turned it on.

Three officers have been relieved of their police powers.


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