COPA Releases More Videos of Fatal Police Shooting

WARNING: This story contains graphic images that may be unsuitable for some viewers. The initial video was released with no sound.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability on Thursday released more video of the fatal police shooting of a man on Chicago's South Side last July.

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The release of the new footage was part of an agreement in a lawsuit filed by a Chicago activist who sued for the release of all videos related to the death of 37-year-old Harith Augustus.

The footage was in addition to one body-camera video Chicago police released the day after the shooting.

New video showed an extended version of the body-camera video along with surveillance video from surrounding businesses. 

"Why did he have to pull a gun out on us," one officer can be heard saying in the video. 

"He was going to shoot us," another officer says. 

Augustus was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer on July 15 in the South Shore neighborhood, sparking several days of protests.

The shooting took place at around 5:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of East 71st Street, Chicago police said in a statement at the time.

Officers approached a man who was "exhibiting characteristics of an armed person," CPD said, and an "armed confrontation ensued."

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Authorities said an officer opened fire, fatally striking the man who authorities later identified as Augustus, a barber from that same neighborhood.

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on routine administrative duty in accordance with department policy.

Protesters angry about the killing took to the streets that night and several altercations took place, resulting in four arrests. Activists planned several other demonstrations in the days following.

Augustus had a gun in a holster at his hip and was shot multiple times as he ran away, spun around and reached toward his waist, footage released the following day from an officer's body-worn camera showed.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said he fast-tracked the release of the initial body-cam video in part to show the public that Augustus was armed and to prevent further conflict between protesters and law enforcement.

After the release of that video, many in the community said they were left outraged and with lingering questions - including why officers approached Augustus in the first place and why the portion of the video that was released did not have audio.

"I think it was a very complicated piece and I would like to see some of the other body cam videos as well," said Rev. Gregory Livingston, of the New Hope Baptist Church.

"One of the things we’re seeing here is the relationship between a black man and police," he continued. "He was offended by the way they approached him.”

Community activist William Calloway, who pushed for the release of video of the fatal 2014 police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, filed a lawsuit days after Augustus' death to compel the release of all related footage under Illinois' Freedom of Information Act.

Calloway's suit alleged that the Chicago Police Department "engages in a pattern, policy, and practice of selectively disclosing information, photos, and videos of officer involved shootings that is based in whole or in part on whether CPD has been publicly accused of or questioned about misconduct or dishonesty and whether the information supports CPD’s narrative of what occurred."

COPA, which investigates officer-involved shootings, said at the time of the shooting that it was "committed to a thorough, objective and unbiased investigation and requests the public’s patience and cooperation."

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