Chicago police officers were caught double-checking to make sure their body cameras were off and reportedly giving each other "high-fives" after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Paul O'Neal in video released Friday by Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority, reports CBS Chicago's Charlie De Mar.
As previously reported by The Root, O'Neal was shot and killed by Chicago police officers July 28 after allegedly crashing a stolen Jaguar into two police officers and then attempting to flee. Officers pursued O'Neal, shooting at him at least "five times," according to a police officer. That turned out to be a severe underestimate. The video proved that at least 15 shots were fired.
The police officer who fired the shots allegedly believed that he had no choice but to shoot O'Neal, shouting at him on the video, "Get down! Hands behind your back! You shot at us, motherf—ker!" Other officers on the scene were not so sure, asking whether the teen really opened fire on them.
It was later proved that O'Neal was unarmed.
O'Neal later died at a local hospital. When the Chicago Police Department was asked why a police camera didn't record the actual shooting, department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune that the CPD had only recently received the equipment.
It was determined that the three officers involved violated police policy in the shooting and were stripped of their power and placed on paid administrative leave.
Michael Oppenheimer, an attorney for the O'Neal family, said that the family was devastated after viewing the video.
“We just came from watching Chicago police officers execute Paul O’Neal. … 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,” he said. “It is amazing to me. It is horrific, it is tragic, that these officers did what they did and took their street justice in their own hands—the things that they are trying to prevent, or supposed to prevent.”
“My heart is completely broken,” said Jedidiah Brown, a Chicago activist. “I felt like that was a tear right down the middle of this relationship between the community and police, and I think it’s going to even further divide communities in Chicago as it relates to public safety in the city.”