In a series of nine violent, graphic videos released by the Chicago Police Department Friday, officers can be seen firing at and chasing Paul O'Neal, an unarmed black teen. O'Neal was shot and killed by police last week; his death has been ruled a homicide by the Cook County Medical Examiner.
The videos do not show him being shot. They depict the events leading up to the shooting and the moments after—including the image of officers surrounding the 18-year-old lying face-down, bloodied and unresponsive on the ground, one officer standing on his leg as another handcuffs him, and another image of officers high-fiving each other and complaining that they will have to be put on desk duty for the shooting.
According to the Chicago Tribune, police attempted to pull over O'Neal on the evening of July 28 after he was seen driving a Jaguar that had been reported stolen. Police, citing surveillance footage, said O'Neal and three others were suspects in a string of car thefts in the South Shore neighborhood.
Two officers opened fire on the vehicle after O'Neal struck two police cars. In the clips released Friday, approximately 15 shots can be heard being fired at the car in the space of five seconds. As the Tribune notes, the CPD's "use of force policy explicitly bars police from firing at a moving vehicle if it represents the only threat against officers."
After fleeing the Jaguar, O'Neal was followed by a third police officer on foot through a residential area. The videos show a chase through backyards and over fences. The fatal shot, police say, was fired in a backyard. And while the officer who shot O'Neal was wearing a body camera, officials said there was no footage of the shooting itself (although the shots can be heard).
One officer can be heard on the video asking, "They shot at us too, right?" (No officers were hurt in the incident.) The footage then shows officers handcuffing O’Neal as he lay on the ground, wounded, for a protracted period of time. O'Neal was later pronounced dead.
In another clip, officers were seen high-fiving each other.
Three police officers have been stripped of their badges in the wake of the incident.
The Tribune reported that O'Neal's family was so distraught after viewing the videos Friday morning at the offices of Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police misconduct, that they left without making any public comment.
“We just watched the family watch the execution of their loving son,” Michael Oppenheimer, the family’s attorney, told reporters Friday. “It is one of the most horrific things that I have seen.”
Chicago authorities have been under intense scrutiny since the delayed release of video footage showing police killing Laquan McDonald, another unarmed black teen. The scandal over the McDonald video cost former CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez their jobs.
The Tribune reported that Ja’Mal Green, an activist who is acting as a spokesman for O'Neal's family, said it was "amazing" how officers "treat us like savages." He said the officers showed no remorse, letting O’Neal lie handcuffed "for a long time."
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.