Video of confrontation between police and Mr. Augustus at 71st and Jeffery. pic.twitter.com/Qd9q9IXNdS— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) July 15, 2018
Protests and clashes erupted across Chicago, Illinois, after a police officer reportedly shot and killed a 37-year-old African-American man identified as Harith Augustus. According to Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi, the cops stopped the victim in the city’s South Shore neighborhood because he was “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person.”
Following the demonstrations, which resulted in at least four protesters being arrested and three or four officers sustaining minor injuries, the Chicago Police Department released the bodycam footage of the incident.
“In this particular instance after seeing what transpired last night, I have an obligation to this city, to the community and to these police officers to make sure this city is safe and calm,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during the press conference. “And last night after what I saw on video, you know, bottles being thrown, urine being thrown at the police officers, we can’t have another night like that.”
Although the 40-second clip does provide some new information, it also lacks context. The video does not have audio, as the first 30 seconds of audio reportedly buffers when the videos are activated, and also does not cover what happened in the moments leading to the shootout.
Instead, the footage showed a pair of officers approaching Augustus as he was talking to another cop. As the officers tried to grab him, the victim pushed their hands away and began flailing his arms before rolling over the hood of a police car. He could be then seen reaching to the right side of his waistband, where the cops claimed they saw a firearm. When Augustus tried to flee, an unidentified officer opened fire on him.
The police later confirmed Augustus, a barber, was armed with a “semiautomatic weapon.” At first, Guglielmi told reporters the man did not have a concealed carry permit. However, Johnson later said the victim did have a license to own a weapon.
“From police perspective, you know, these things happen in a split second,” Johnson told reporters. “Officers have to make decisions quickly. We’re not trying to hide anything. The video speaks for itself.”
As ABC 7 Chicago reported, the cops involved in the fatal shooting will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Chicago Police Department/Handout via Reuters