Seconds after a Chicago police officer opened fire on him as he ran from a traffic stop, Cedrick Chatman, 17, had collapsed when the officer’s partner approached to take him into custody. “I give up. I’m shot,” Chatman said to Officer Lou Toth, reports the Chicago Tribune. A bullet had struck Chatman in the right side, pierced his heart and lodged in his spine. He died on the way to a hospital. Chatman’s last words were included in hundreds of pages of investigative records released by the city Friday that laid out how Chatman’s suspected involvement in a violent robbery and carjacking ended with his fatal shooting less than a mile away. The documents show that Officer Kevin Fry told investigators he saw Chatman turn with a dark object in his hand as he ran full speed across a busy intersection in the early afternoon.
“Officer Fry said he believed that the object was a handgun and he was in fear of his partner’s life, as Toth was in close proximity to the offender,” said an incident report. The object turned out to be a black iPhone box. Attorneys for Chatman’s mother, who has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, contend the videos prove that Chatman was trying to get away from the police when Fry opened fire without justification. The document dump was part of the fallout since the release of the disturbing video of Laquan McDonald’s fatal shooting by a olice officer roiled the city, leading to the firing of police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and calls for the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. In lifting a protective order in the Chatman family’s lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman ripped city attorneys for the about-face after months of fighting to keep the videos secret, sarcastically hailing the move as the “Age of Enlightenment.”