The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released a statement Tuesday evening clearing Chicago police officers in connection to the racially-charged shooting of a 25-year-old man who was shot to death by an off-duty cop in 2016.
The incident, which occurred on Nov. 5, 2016 sparked outrage and protests after an off-duty officer shot and killed Joshua Beal. The lawsuit, filed by Beal’s fiancé Ashley Phifer, alleged that the officer failed to properly identify himself as a police officer during a confrontation with Beal.
"Video evidence captured Officer Treacy announcing he was a police officer after a Chicago Fire Department member was being beaten by several members of the group," the statement read.
The report also notes that video evidence shows Beal pointing a gun before the officers opened fire.
Tuesday's report revealed that the investigation consisted of "an extensive, exhaustive and thorough investigation, including the interview of nearly 20 civilians, numerous members of the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department, review and analysis of video evidence."
According to police, Beal failed to comply with orders to drop his weapon, but Phifer’s attorney Blake Horwitz says that the 25-year-old was acting within his rights as a legal gun owner because he felt threatened by the officer’s actions.
“There is a moment at the scene where my client’s fiancé did pull out a weapon,” he said. “They say that he shot the weapon. The officer’s own police report says that he did not fire the weapon.”
Phifer originally said she filed the lawsuit in order to reveal the truth about what happened on that fateful November day, and to clear her fiancé’s name.
“Everything they’re saying about him is wrong,” Phifer said. “He was a good person, and I’m not just saying that because I was with him.”
Phifer was seeking $50,000 in damages.