Chicago police released video footage taken just moments before cops shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Paul O'Neal, who was just 18 years old. The disturbing clip, taken on July 28 from police officers' body cameras and dashboard cameras, shows two cops emerging from their parked SUV as O'Neal headed in their direction in a Jaguar that had allegedly been stolen earlier that day. The police officers opened fire and began shooting at the vehicle as it sped by them.
O'Neal then crashed the Jaguar into a different police car before he got out of the vehicle and ran behind a house in the suburban Chicago neighborhood. The police proceeded to chase O'Neal before cornering him in a backyard. One ordered the teen to put his hands up and O'Neal was then shot in the back and killed. The officer who fatally shot him reportedly believed O'Neal had shot at cops earlier, but later discovered he was unarmed.
Warning: Although this video does not show the moment O'Neal was shot, it contains vulgar language and is very disturbing.
Once the video pans over, O'Neal on the ground with blood oozing from a wound on his back, it becomes increasingly difficult to feel anything but extreme sadness and remorse that this child died without so much as a word of comfort from any of the police officers. We want to support the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect communities, but it's heart-wrenching and disgusting to hear a few of the officers react to this teen's murder by congratulating each other and immediately thinking about what this will mean to their careers in law enforcement.
One of the cops was even caught giving another officer a high-five after the words, "Fuck, I'm going to be on desk duty now for 30 days," when he realized he had violated the police department's use-of-force policy by shooting at the car.
O'Neal's family viewed the footage before it was released to the public — and it should be said that this video was made public a lot sooner than anyone thought, which is, at the very least, a small positive step in the right direction. A spokesperson for the family said they believed they witnessed the "execution" of O'Neal and the family's attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, said the cops played "judge, jury and executioner." The video will be used as evidence in the family's federal civil rights lawsuit case against the Chicago Police Department.
Since the horrific incident, three officers from the department have been stripped of police duties pending the ongoing investigation. The officers' names have not been released.
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