Body Cam Didn’t Work in Fatal Chicago Police Shooting

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A body camera worn by the Chicago police officer who fatally shot an 18-year-old man in the back last week was not recording at the time of the shooting, police said yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It’s not clear why the camera was not recording, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Moments before Paul O’Neal, 18, was shot and killed, he’d rammed the Jaguar he was driving into one police car and sideswiped another. Two officers fired at O’Neal while he was still in the car. Guglielmi said their body cameras were working and captured the discharge of their weapons.

A third officer — who police say fired the fatal shot — opened fire on O’Neal, who was unarmed, after he exited the car, hitting him in the back.  The Independent Police Review Authority, which is charged with investigating police shootings, will look into why the officer’s body camera did not capture the shooting. “They’re going to look to see whether the collision damaged the camera,” Guglielmi said. “[Was] the camera was on? . . . Did he know how to use it?” The officers at the scene had only received body cameras a week earlier. Body cam video from the two officers who opened fire but did not fire the fatal shot guided Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s decision to strip them of their police powers and assign them to desk duty. Johnson said he believed their actions violated official police policy.

 

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