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The city of Chicago released video Friday of the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal.
Illinois Police Review Authority Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley called the video “shocking and disturbing.”
O’Neal was killed after he drove a Jaguar convertible around 7:30 p.m. on July 28 near 7400 S. Merrill Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood. The convertible was reported stolen earlier in Bolingbrook.
The Chicago Tribune reported that O’Neal hit two Chicago police cars in the sports car, and two officers shot at him while he was in the car. O’Neal exited the car, and a third officer chased him. The officer shot him after he refused to stop.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stripped three officers involved in the incident of their police powers, saying that their actions violated department policy.
Prior to the release of the video, IPRA’s Fairley issued a statement saying that her “heart goes out to his family and friends and to the community that has lost yet another young black man.”
Fairley’s statement is below:
“First and foremost, like all Chicagoans, I am deeply saddened by the death of Paul O’Neal and my heart goes out to his family and friends and to the community that has lost yet another young black man. I want to express my personal commitment to seeing that justice is served and our pursuit of justice here will be steadfast. I applaud Superintendent Johnson for his swift and immediate actions in this incident.
Today IPRA is releasing video material related to the officer-involved shooting at 74th and Merrill on July 28th that resulted in the death of Mr. O’Neal. The investigation into this tragic event is still very much in the early stages. But we are proceeding as deliberately and expediently as possible in pursuit of a swift but fair determination.
As with every investigation, where we believe information can be released to the public without jeopardizing the investigation, we do so, even if it is before the 60-day timeline outlined in the City’s transparency policy. We have made that determination here, so we are releasing this information that we understand is of utmost public interest.
Please bear in mind that this video material, 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. To that end, IPRA is conducting a full and thorough investigation of the entire incident including the use of force, the pursuit, body camera usage and all other possible policy and procedural violations that occurred during the incident. As the investigation continues we will release more evidence on our case portal once we’ve had an opportunity to determine whether or not the release of evidence will impede the investigation that I believe will take several weeks to conclude.”