Lawyers representing the city of Chicago have allowed the release of surveillance footage that shows the police shooting of black teenager, Cedrick Chatman. The 17-year-old was killed by police officers when he fled after cops stopped him for the theft of a car in January 2013.
The security footage shows Chatman running from the allegedly stolen car, and one of the officers chasing after him, and then firing his gun in Chatman’s direction. The footage then reveals a motionless Chatman lying on the street.
One of the officers in the video, Kevin Fry, claimed that Chatman had turned around and pointed an object at the officers, spurring him to fire at the unarmed teen. Attorneys for the Chatman family said that the video refutes this account. The object in Chatman’s hand was later found to be a black box containing an iPhone.
On Thursday, lawyers for the city said they would not oppose the release of the footage for the sake of transparency. US District Court Judge Robert Gettleman then lifted the protective order on the recordings, saying, “I went to a lot of trouble to decide this issue, and then I get this motion last night saying that this is the age of enlightenment with the city and we’re going to be transparent…I think its irresponsible.”
It seems that Gettleman would have preferred the footage remained private, possibly fearing that the release of the video could continue to anger the public and interfere with the proceedings in the Chatman family’s lawsuit. An attorney for the family stated that the release of the video will further support the claims that there is a systemic problem in Chicago involving the slaying of African American youth by the city’s police force.
This video comes to light as the city is already on the brink, following the revelations in the Laquan McDonald case, which not only revealed an initial cover-up of the crime, but also recently revealed a possible conspiracy between state government, and a supposedly independent review of the case to manipulate public opinion.
Chicagoans have called for an overhaul of government, demanding the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Though Emanuel has yet to resign, he has fired both the police superintendent and the head of police investigative agency.
Watch the red light camera video below:
(Photo: Cedrick Chatman via Facebook)