The family of an unarmed 13-year-old boy who was shot and seriously wounded by a Chicago police officer in May has received videos of the confrontation, a police oversight agency said Thursday.
The videos were made available through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability said in a statement, adding that it is prohibited by law from publicly releasing videos and other materials that involve minors.
“We see this as an opportunity to begin the conversation regarding amendments to this law to allow for increased transparency,” said COPA chief administrator, Andrea Kersten. “We are open to discussions with the General Assembly and our city elected officials to give families of juveniles a voice when determining what materials may be released publicly by COPA.”
Attorneys for the boy’s mother, Cierra Corbitt, have said she wants the videos released to the public.
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A lawsuit filed by the boy’s family against the unidentified police officer and the Chicago Police Department contends the May 18 shooting was unjustified and that the boy had his hands up when he was shot.
The boy, identified in the lawsuit by the initials “A.G.,” jumped out a car that police had been chasing with squad cars and a helicopter after an alleged carjacking in Oak Park.
An officer chased after the teen and shot him in the back, causing injuries to the teen’s spinal cord and internal wounds that have left the boy “permanently and catastrophically” injured, the lawsuit states.
“CPD’s shooting was wholly unjustified as A.G. was running away from the shooter, he was unarmed, and he posed no threat of harm to the officer who shot him or anyone in the vicinity,” the lawsuit states. “Multiple witnesses at the scene reported that A.G. was complying with the officers’ directive for him to put his hands up — and indeed his hands were up — when John Doe Officer shot him.”
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown has said the boy turned toward police when he was shot but would not comment on whether his hands were raised. No weapon was found at the scene.