The Chicago Police Department has released videos related to the police-involved shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Paul O'Neal that took place on July 28. The clips show cops roughing up the teenager, who was arrested for alleged shoplifting, before killing him off camera.
Officers are heard cursing the young man, whose arms appear to be limp as they put him in handcuffs. While the actual shooting is not captured in the videos, the fatal shots can be heard.
The head of Chicago's police oversight board, Sharon Fairley, released a statement regarding the footage saying, "As shocking and disturbing as it is, is not the only evidence to be gathered and analyzed when conducting a fair and thorough assessment of the conduct of police officers in performing their duties." She offered her condolences to O'Neal's family and friends, but of course that means very little when you consider the young life that was wrongly taken.
The O'Neal family has already filed a civil lawsuit against the officers alleging that the officers shot O'Neal "without lawful justification or excuse."
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters that the shooting has troubled him but said, "If it's an honest mistake, we'll get them training, coaching, mentoring and get them back out there. But if it was intentional misconduct, then they have to be held accountable for it."
He also said that while he hopes people who see the videos do not come to any firm conclusions, as they have left him with "more questions than answers."
Chicago police said in a nationwide conference call and bulletin that there is a potential for "civil unrest" and potential violence against police in anticipation of the videos' release.
(Photo: Courtesy of Paul O'Neal Family)
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