Chicago police have released the disturbing body camera footage from some of the officers involved in the shooting death of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal.
Chicago P.D. Superintendent Eddie Johnson was set to give a statement surrounding the video Friday afternoon; however, a group of protesters blocked him from getting to the microphone, refusing to let him speak.
He was eventually left with no choice but to retreat back into police headquarters, but he did offer a written statement earlier the same morning.
"I applaud the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley for being so transparent and open with the video release and I want to pledge the full cooperation of the Chicago Police Department during this investigation.
My promise to the people of Chicago is that we will be guided by the facts and should wrongdoing be discovered; individuals will be held accountable for their actions.
The shooting of Mr. O'Neal has raised a lot of questions about whether departmental policies were followed. While IPRA conducts a thorough investigation, we will not wait to look for ways we can learn from this incident.
I've challenged my team to take a hard look at the training and tactics from this incident, including looking at national best practices on use of force to determine how we can best serve our officers so that they can best serve the people of the city.
You can expect this department to be open and honest about what we discover and we will work together with our community partners to implement solutions.
In order to work toward making a better department we must acknowledge the things we can do better and that work starts today."
The spokesman representing O’Neal’s family, Ja’Mal Green, said they believed they watched an execution on the video, ABC News reports.
"We just watched a family watch the execution of their loving son. It is one of the most horrific things that I have seen, aside from being in a movie. These police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner," said the family’s attorney Michael Oppenheimer.
ABC 7 Chicago reporter Laura Podesta tweeted that activists who were invited to watch the video at the police department said that officers were shaking each other’s hands and patting each other on the back on the tape.
Activists: "When you see the video you see officers shaking each other's hands, patting each other on the back." @ABC7Chicago— Laura Podesta (@LauraPodesta7) August 5, 2016
"It's unclear as to whether or not he was the actual shooter, but you are going to hear one of the police officers say, 'Now I'm going to get a 30-day suspension,'" Oppenheimer also said of the video.
WARNING: Uncensored video contains graphic content and language that may be disturbing to some viewers.
O’Neal was shot and killed by police last week while they were trying to stop the car he was driving. He was allegedly behind the wheel of a Jaguar that had been reported stolen from a local suburb.
After O’Neal crashed the car and got out, the officers pursued him on foot. He was killed in a resident’s backyard. The officers reportedly shouted at O’Neal’s lifeless body, “Why did you have to shoot at us?”
O’Neal, however, was unarmed at the time he was killed. According to a witness, the officers who shot him were under the impression that he had fired shots at their colleagues who responded first to the scene.
Conveniently, the actual shooting was not captured on tape because the officer who fired the shots had a body camera that was either not working or had fallen off during the chase, according to ABC.
Community activist Jedidiah Brown, who also watched the full-length video, described some of the horror he witnessed.
“Watching that video, I feel like that was a tear right down the middle of the relationship between the community and police," Brown said. "I saw an officer stomp a lifeless body in the back with his foot, while other officers stood over his body and screamed at him to put his hands behind his back. You could tell, watching these videos, that the narrative to cover this up had already begun before anything happened. You could hear officers telling other officers to cut off their body cameras.”
The investigation is still underway; however, O’Neal’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Monday.
Frequent incidents exactly like this have, sadly, become America’s new normal. There is a modern-day American genocide happening right before our eyes, with no end in sight.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @theblaze