"Bitch-a$$ motherf@&ker, f@&king shoot at us," a Chicago police officer told the bloodied, dying body of Paul O’Neal, an 18-year-old black man who was, to be clear, unarmed when officers shot and killed him on July 28.
It’s not clear exactly what happened at the moment of the shooting. But it seems as if yet another police body camera has either fell or malfunctioned. You would think that police departments would purchase cameras who actually work or learn to attach them to their uniforms better. But there is footage of other officers of other officers arriving to the scene after a tense chase, finding O’Neal bloodied and near death behind a Chicago house. The footage was released on August 3rd.
This is the scene of just the latest police shooting to trigger outrage from Black Lives Matter activists, who protest racial injustice in the criminal justice system. To many critics, it is just another example of a tragedy that quickly rose to the national spotlight after numerous police shootings across the country.
The confrontation began on July 28 when Chicago police officers tried to stop a reportedly stolen car that O’Neal was driving. O’Neal didn’t stop and rammed a police vehicle to get away from the officers. During this, police opened fire at the moving car, which is a blatant violation of department policy.
O’Neal crashed the car into another police vehicle, then took off running through nearby houses, based on footage released by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) on August 5. After catching up to him, police shot him when he was behind a home. the shots are heard in the video footage, but not seen.
The police officers with functioning body cameras then ran around to the backyard, where O’Neal was bloodied, dying on the floor, and surrounded by police officers. That’s when one officer said, "Bitch-a$$ motherf@&ker, f@&king shoot at us." They then began cuffing him.
The shooting itself was not captured by video. But O’Neal was shot in the back and unarmed, showing that he could not have possibly shot at the officers, like one alleged. A source says that apparently the officers who fired the fatal shots thought O’Neal had shot at officers previously on the scene.
The fact that O’Neal couldn’t and didn’t fire a gun could be crucial to the ongoing investigation. For officers to legally use force, they must reasonably believe O’Neal posed a threat to them or others. Even though O’Neal didn’t have a gun, the officers may potentially argue that he proved to be a violent threat when he rammed a stolen car into police vehicles.
The shooting is under investigation by the IPRA. Sharon Fairley, chief administrator of the agency, said in a statement that the agency is working "as deliberately and expediently as possible in pursuit of a swift but fair determination" over the shooting. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson also stripped three officers of their police powers, saying they appeared to violate Chicago police policies.
On video, the officers involved in the chase and shooting are heard discussing the possible consequences of their actions — how the media will react and whether they’ll get placed on desk duty or fired. One officer remarked, "I’m going to be f@&king crucified."
This particular officer obviously had not been paying attention to the fact that law enforcement usually gets away with murder. If he had, he'd probably realize that he has nothing to worry about........