Questions Remain After Chicago Police Release Video of Fatal Shooting

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

Following the release of video footage of an officer fatally shooting a man on Chicago's South Side Saturday, activists say several questions remain about the incident as they continue to call for reforms.

The shooting took place in the 2000 block of East 71st Street at around 5:30 p.m., according to a statement from Chicago police. Officers approached a man who was "exhibiting characteristics of an armed person," CPD said, and an "armed confrontation ensued."

Officials said an officer opened fire, fatally striking the man who authorities later identified as 37-year-old Harith Augustus, a barber from the South Shore neighborhood.

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 Sunday from an officer's body-worn camera showed.

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

Protesters angry about the killing Saturday took to the streets and several altercations took place, resulting in four arrests. Activists were planning another demonstration at the scene of the shooting Monday night.

"A thorough and transparent investigation of the shooting is crucial to begin the long process of rebuilding the trust that has been harassed and beaten out of black and brown communities by bullies with badges for decades in Chicago and across the country," Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a statement on Sunday, saying Chicago was "in crisis."

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said he fast-tracked the release of the video in part to show the public that Augustus was armed and to prevent another night rife with conflict between protesters and law enforcement.

But after the footage was made public, several activists said questions remained surrounding the incident, including why officers approached Augustus in the first place and why the video 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.”

Livingston said the shooting is an indicator of the distrust in the relationship between civilians and officers.

"They need better training," Jonathan Todd, who attended Saturday's protest, said of the police. "We need some better transparency and the transparency that they put out to dictate their narrative is just not going to work anymore."

"We’re not using this incident as an opportunity to advance our demands," said activist Frank Chapman. "We’re using it to advance our position of more community control over police where we have a voice."

Audio from the body camera footage will be released at a later date, according to officials.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates officer-involved shootings, said it was "committed to a thorough, objective and unbiased investigation and requests the public’s patience and cooperation."

It was at least the third time in the last two weeks that a Chicago police officer shot someone, authorities said.

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