Officer Who Fatally Shot Kajuan Raye Relieved of Police Powers

The officer who fatally shot 19-year-old Kajuan Raye on Chicago's South Side Wednesday night has been relieved of police powers amid the ongoing investigation into the shooting, officials said Saturday. 

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson relieved the officer of police powers pending the completion of the Independent Police Review Authority's case, calling the decision "the most serious action the department can take during an open investigation."

Johnson's decision came after an autopsy found that Raye died from a gunshot wound to the back, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said Friday, ruling his death a homicide. 

Investigators also failed to find the weapon the officer said Raye pointed at him during a foot chase before the shooting. 

“We conducted and completed a grid search during the overnight hours for ballistic evidence and the offender’s weapon and we were not able to locate a weapon as of yet,” Johnson said during a news conference Thursday. 

The incident occurred just after 11 p.m. Wednesday night, when officers responded to a report of a "battery in progress" in the 1400 block of West 65th Street in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, according to a statement from police. 

When a sergeant arrived at the scene and identified himself as a police officer, he said Raye fled, then twice pointed a gun at him during the subsequent pursuit. The officer opened fire in the 6500 block of South Marshfield, a few blocks from where the chase began, striking Raye multiple times. 

Raye, of 1400 block of East 156th Street in suburban Dolton, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. The sergeant was not injured in the incident. 

"Having been a police officer for 28 years, I know that this job is not easy and the decision to use force is extremely complex and must be made in seconds without the benefits of formal reviews and deliberations," Johnson said in a statement announcing the decision to relieve the officer of police powers on Saturday.

"However, based on the little information we know at this point, I have concerns about this incident and feel this decision is in the best interest of the Department and the people of Chicago as we await a methodical and impartial investigation into exactly what transpired."

Raye’s family said the teen was running because he was scared.

“He is a young black male and they are afraid of the police,” his cousin Ahkeya White said. “They do not believe the police are there to protect and serve.”

The family acknowledged Raye had challenges in the past, including a criminal trespass charge, but said he was trying to get back on track.

“They can search all night, there is no gun involved,” White added. “The only gun that was there, the only gun that was fired, was from the Chicago Police Department.”

Raye's family has hired a lawyer, according to a spokesperson. 

"The chronology of actual events is still not clear and the department has many unanswered questions," CPD said in Saturday's statement. 

The IPRA, which has jurisdiction over officer-involved shootings, continues to investigate the incident.

Wednesday's shooting was the first of two fatal police-involved shootings in just over 24 hours in Chicago. The second occurred around 12:30 a.m. Friday, when officers on patrol shot and killed a man accused of shooting two people, one fatally, in the city's Homan Square neighborhood. 

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