In newly released surveillance footage, an off-duty Chicago police officer is seen shooting an unarmed autistic Black teen.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released seven videos and four audio files surrounding the shooting of then-18-year-old Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes by CPD Sgt. Khalil Muhammad on Aug. 13, 2017, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
In footage taken from a nearby home’s security camera, Hayes appears to be running down the sidewalk before stopping near a home. At this time, Muhammad, who was driving an SUV, parks his vehicle in the middle of the street.
Although no words can be heard between the two, Hayes can be seen walking down a parkway, but not into the street where Muhammad’s car is parked. The off-duty cop immediately opens fire on the developmentally disabled teen.
Hayes can then be seen running off.
Hayes, who also suffers from schizophrenia and was considered a minor at the time of the shooting due to his mental capacity, did not suffer life-threatening injuries from the shooting. He was struck in the chest and arm.
Just a few hours before the shooting, Hayes’ caretaker had reported him missing.
A police statement initially said the two got into an “armed confrontation,” yet Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson later said no weapon was recovered from Hayes.
According to a lawsuit filed earlier this year on behalf of Hayes, Muhammad was off-duty and in his personal vehicle when he saw Hayes running and skipping down the street.
The lawsuit states that Hayes “functions at the cognitive level of a child, and he has difficulty communicating. Ricky looks much younger than his age and his disabilities are immediately recognizable.”
After the shooting, Muhammad eventually caught up to Hayes, ordered him on the ground, and called an ambulance. The sergeant’s call to 911 was among the audio files released.
“The guy, like, he was about to pull a gun. Walked up to the car, and I had to shoot,” Muhammad told a Chicago Fire Department dispatcher.
Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday that Muhammad was on administrative leave pending the outcome of the COPA investigation.
No criminal charges were ever brought against Muhammad in connection with the shooting.
(Photo: Civilian Office of Police Accountability Chicago)