Video of Police-Involved Shooting in Chicago Spurs Protest and Possible Gang Retaliation



On Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, Chicago police officials were preparing for gang retaliation for the July shooting of Paul O’Neal, an unarmed black teenager. One gang was reportedly going to use a sniper to take out individual officers.

O’Neal was shot during a car chase. He was not armed; therefore, it was a violation of department policy to shoot at the Jaguar he stole. Video footage shows cruisers used as a road block within city limits. Officers Michael Coughlin Jr. and Jose Torres shot at the Jaguar, at close range, as he drove around the vehicles. Another police vehicle crashed into O’Neal head on. Then, officers chased him on foot while more gunshots were heard. When the arrived to the backyard, O’Neal was on his stomach, handcuffed, and bleeding while officers discussed turning off their body cameras. Officer Jose Diaz fired the fatal shot off-camera. O’Neal was 18 years old and died from a gunshot wound to the back.

Diaz did not have his body camera on at the time of the shooting, but it was turned on afterward, and he is heard stating he did not know if O’Neal was armed.

Torres fired at the Jaguar O’Neal was driving, once. Coughlin shot at the Jaguar nine times, and Diaz fired five shots in the backyard where O’Neal was killed.

When the video of the teen’s death was released, protesters blocked the streets in downtown Chicago.
The video footage was the first to be released under the new policy, stating such material is to be made public within 60 days. This new policy was put into place after Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times. It took months for the authorities to release the footage.

The head of the local police union blames Michael Oppenheimer, the attorney for the O’Neal family, for making statements that keep people fired up.

“We had inflammatory and false rhetoric coming from [Michael Oppenheimer] and statements that weren’t true.”

The president of Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police Dean Angelo said,

You also have a lead investigator in police-involved deaths talking about how shocking and disturbing this is.

Eddie Johnson, Chicago Police superintendent, admitted the officers were at fault because they fired at the vehicle O’Neal was driving and he was not armed. Johnson stripped the officers involved of their “police powers,” a decision supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Johnson stated that Officer Diaz had only been using the body camera for a week and was unsure how it operated. However, demonstrators found that response too convenient given he is the one who fired the fatal shot.

Demonstrators were led by a group of organized Chicago high school girls, according to CBS. They gathered in Millennium Park Sunday. Ashanti Lumpkin, age 17, addressed the crowd.

We are here today fighting for the people, six feet under, whose death ignited a generation. We are here today to fight so the next generation won’t have to. We are here today to let them know that we will not go away. We will not be silenced. And we will keep fighting until justice is won. Enough is enough.

Maxine Wint, protest organizer, stated that once she saw the video and the reaction of the officers, she felt like their lives did not matter. A common response to officer-involved shootings.

According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, leaders from three West Side gangs met to plot their revenge on the Chicago Police Department. Black Disciples, Vice Lords, and Four Corner Hustlers met on Thursday.

The Four Corner Hustlers are taking the lead and providing weapons to the Black Disciples and Vice Lords, according to the Sun-Times. Reportedly the gangs will be deploying a sniper to shoot various members of the Chicago Police Department.

Officers were warned to be vigilant and reminded of the Dallas shooting spree that killed five police officers in November. Military veteran, Micah Zavier Johnson ambushed the officers who were on duty during a protest. The people were protesting the police-involved shootings of two detained African-Americans in Minnesota and Louisiana.

The Chicago Police Department did not comment on the precautions being taken to keep officers safe from gang retaliation.

By Jeanette Smith


DailyMail: ‘Chicago gangs to deploy SNIPER against police’: City on edge as armed groups ‘plan to kill cops in retaliation for shooting of unarmed black teen Paul O’Nea
Chicago Tribune: Suit accuses Chicago police of rule violations in Paul O’Neal shooting

Image Courtesy of Yumi Kimura’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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