During a Monday press conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed the July police-involved shooting of Chicagoa teen Paul O’Neal, which was captured using a police body camera and released to the public last week.
“The loss of life is a tragedy in the city of Chicago regardless of how that happened,” Emanuel said. “My heartfelt feeling is, if there’s a loss of life, there’s a loss for Chicago and it’s a tragedy.”
During his remarks at the Rustbelt Chicago 2016 Conference Monday, Emanuel said he stands by Chicago Police Department Supt. Eddie Johnson’s initial response to the July shooting.
Last month, Johnson relieved the three officers involved in the shooting of all police powers. The superintendent said the dash cam and body cam videos of the shooting suggested departmental policy might have been violated.
In the footage, a Jaguar is seen sideswiping a police car and another vehicle before an officer open fires. At one point, someone is seen running from the vehicle and officers follow on foot. The person then disappears from view and gunshots are heard.
O’Neal is later seen on the ground, his back bloody as police handcuff him. Police confirmed that he was unarmed. The O’Neal family has since filed a wrongful death suit in federal court.
The footage was released just over a week after the shooting. This complies with the department’s new policy, which calls videos to be released within 60 days.
This is the first video the city has released under the new policy, which was part of an effort to restore public trust after footage of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting Chicago teen Laquan McDonald was released last year.
The footage sparked protests and outrage nationwide and directly led to the firing of former CPD Supt. Garry McCarthy and calls for the mayor's resignation.
Emanuel told reporters Monday that, although he supports Johnson’s decisions, he will “wait until all the facts get out to make any further judgment.”
“The superintendent took his immediate steps on both the material and getting it out, as well as what he’s done with the officer,” Emanuel said. “I’m reserving any judgment while it’s in the middle of an investigation. There’s a lot of questions and I probably want to echo what the superintendent says.”
Last week, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Gugliemi said that shooting’s “chronology of events is complex” and still being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority. Additionally, the department noted that the body camera of an officer involved in the shooting wasn’t working at the time.
On Monday, the mayor faced questions about the body cameras not working properly during the incident.
“That’s going to be part of the investigation,” Emanuel said. “It’s fair to ask the questions, but until the conclusion of the review by both IPRA and the State’s Attorney, I don’t want to jump to a conclusion and I’ll wait to hear from Eddie Johnson."