After Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability released more than a dozen new videos Tuesday that showed CPD officers responding to an officer-involved shooting of a passenger at the CTA Red Line station at Grand and State, a civil rights attorney is calling on officials to take action against the officers involved in the incident.
On Feb. 28, Ariel Roman was shot during an encounter with two Chicago police officers at the Red Line station. Civil rights attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who is representing Roman, says that his client’s life has “changed forever” as a result of the incident.
“He has a bullet lodged in his lower back next to his cystic nerve, and he had another bullet go through his abdomen,” Stroth said. “He had additional surgeries to his intestines.”
A video taken by an onlooker showed what happened during the shooting and the immediate aftermath, but now COPA officials have released footage showing what happened before the incident took place.
“Ariel violated a city ordinance. It was minor,” Stroth said. “As a result chased by those officers.”
The videos (which can be viewed and downloaded here) show Roman on the train with CPD officers, and then shows him exiting the train after engaging with officers. The released videos then show Roman interacting with officers on the train platform before he was shot. Yet another video shows Roman bleeding on the ground after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
In a statement, COPA says the investigation into the involved officers remains ongoing, and that other materials, including CTA surveillance and third-party videos, are also being used.
Despite that promise, Stroth still is pushing for more to be done.
“There’s another crisis that Mayor Lori Lightfoot needs to address,” he said. “That’s the excessive, unreasonable and lethal force in our communities.”
Stroth says that the case will be a serious test for new Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
“It is a teachable moment,” he said. “(It’s) a test on what he will do in Chicago as it is related to excessive use of force, and is he going to follow through as related to consent-decree (matters) and substantive police reform.”
An investigation remains open through the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The FBI is also investigating the case, and Stroth is beginning to put together a potential federal civil rights lawsuit against the department and city.