The Killing of Roshad McIntosh: Anatomy of a Police Shooting

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Cynthia Lane

Cynthia Lane visits the grave of her son Roshad McIntosh. Photo courtesy CNN

On August 14, 2014, 19-year-old Roshad McIntosh was shot and killed by Chicago cops who were investigating reports of gang activity. A subsequent official inquiry concluded the shooting was justified under the Chicago police “use of force” policy because McIntosh refused to drop a gun he was holding, despite persistent calls by the officers.

But a year-long investigation by CNN reporter Rosa Flores raised serious questions about the case.

In Flores’ documentary, “Beneath the Skin,” aired last week, Flores found witnesses who cast doubt on many elements of the police account, including whether he was carrying a gun at all.

The shooting occurred several months before the more publicized killing of a 17-year-old African-American named Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by officers who said he was wielding a knife. A video of the shooting conflicted with the police account, and a subsequent investigation resulted in the indictment of three Chicago police officers last June.

Roshad McIntosh

Chicago police said Roshad McIntosh was holding this gun before he was shot. Photo courtesy CNN

Flores’ story has added more questions about the activities of the Chicago Police Department. Earlier this year, in January, the Department of Justice found that the city’s police used excessive use of force as part of a pattern of systematic abuse that was aggravated by poor oversight and inadequate training.

Was the earlier shooting of Roshad McIntosh another example of this pattern?

Flores said she began working on the story after McIntosh’s mother Cynthia Lane called CNN in 2016. Lane had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Chicago and some of the officers involved a year earlier.

To see the full three-episode digital documentary, please click here.

Rosa Flores is a CNN reporter now based in Miami.  She is a 2017 John Jay/Guggenheim Criminal Justice Reporting Fellow. She welcomes readers’ comments.

4 thoughts on “The Killing of Roshad McIntosh: Anatomy of a Police Shooting

  1. Why is it that a police involved shooting can be video taped from start to finish 100% showing that the police did the correct thing, and people will still say the shooting wasn’t justified????? How, why, cmon it needs to stop. These horrible positions the police are put in are NOT easy, fun, or a great part of the job. They don’t have 5 minutes to think things through, most of the time they don’t have 5 seconds, they make these very unenviable decisions in less than 1 second most of the time, and they do this trying to make everyone involved safe. No police officer goes to work thinking he or she hopes to be involved in a shootout. None of them do. So to think they hate people, and shoot on purpose are flat out uneducated on police, crime, criminals, and the actions that are taken. BTW, Chicago has a huge murder problem, and it’s very dangerous for all involved. So, let’s start covering these issues from all directions, not just how bad our police supposedly treat people.
    Police have a tough, dangerous, and hated job, especially these days, people show them no respect, constantly taunt the shit out of them, then cry fowl when an officer puts them in there place. Bottom line? Don’t break the law and you won’t have to deal with them.

    • If you follow this case, you’ll know that there is no video footage showing what really happened after he ran from the road towards the gangway. So what from “start to finish 100%” are you talking about? If there had been a video showing what exactly happened, if he was holding a gun (or not), the case might had been easier. Even the police statements conflict with what is seen in the video (which is when the arrive by the road side). Too many loopholes and apparently you don’t follow this case enough. Study more before you make comments like this.

      • you sound like a product of a misguided environment. how about this crazy approach – don’t run? how about we take a step back and think about your odds of getting shot (justified or unjustified) – if you don’t run? how about just listening to the police? or is your theory the cops went out and were hunting down R.M? how about just following the law? R.M was born in the U.S. and spoke excellent English – what part of not running was he confused about? he made his own decisions, took his own chances and wound up full of led because an the end of the day he probably make a stupid decision – and guess what!??? I bet it wasn’t the first time –

  2. so this guy R.M. was arrested before this incident for domestic violence and spent a night in jail. this by law, prohibits him from owning a firearm in the US (doing so is reason to shoot already). plus before the incident he had taken and posted pictures of him with a collection of firearms and the 9mm that was found had his prints on it. maybe you should do better research before you start slamming cops. also cheese the truth has it right, if you run cops are free to shoot at that moment. the fact that this cop even TRIED to chase rather than just opening fire is already restraint.

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