Protesters Prevent Chicago Police Superintendent From Making Statement After Release of Police Shooting Video

As Johnson approached the podium to speak on the video’s release, one protester stood in front of him with his hands in the air

A small group of protesters prevented Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson from speaking Friday following the release of graphic video in the fatal police shooting of a teen car theft suspect.

As Johnson approached the podium to speak on the video’s release, one protester stood in front of him with his hands in the air.

“We watched that video of Paul O’Neal being shot to death by a Chicago police officer and then we have a superintendent who believes that that’s justified,” one protester said. “Public safety will look different. What if that was your son that got shot in the back and was running from a Jaguar convertible? Public safety, accountability, transparency will look different. We are tired and we are dissatisfied with the ungracious leadership and Chicago Police Department. We are dissatisfied. Bridging the gap between African Americans and Chicago Police? Impossible. It is impossible. The police out here acting reckless.”

Johnson stood silent while the protesters interrupted the press conference.

“There’s no politically correct response to what’s going on,” another protester said.

The group said everyone needs to “remember [Paul O’Neal’s] name and say his name.”

“His life mattered,” a protester said.

Johnson eventually walked away as the group continued to shout.

Roughly two hours earlier, video showing 18-year-old O’Neal’s fatal shooting was made public. 

The videos do not show the gunfire that killed O'Neal, but show the events leading up to and after the shooting, according to officials.

"It's disturbing and it's violent and it's scary," said O'Neal family attorney Michael Oppenheimer. "Again, I’m asking for a special prosecutor, I’m not the prosecutor now. What I saw was pretty cold-blooded. There’s a lot of emotion there, There’s a lot of stuff. There's no question in my mind they ran this kid down and murdered him."

O'Neal, of the 1700 block of E 70th St, was killed around 9 p.m. July 28 in the city's South Shore neighborhood. Officers saw a Jaguar S-Type convertible that had been reported stolen from Bolingbrook, according to police. Police said they "attempted to curb" the car near 74th Street and Merrill Avenue when the Jaguar sideswiped the police vehicle and another nearby parked car.

In the footage, a Jaguar is seen scraping a squad car and another vehicle as an officer opens fire on it. At one point, someone is seen running from the vehicle and officers follow on foot. The suspect then disappears from view and gunshots are heard.

O'Neal is later seen on the ground, his back bloody as police handcuff him.

Officers allege O'Neal fired at them before he was shot. At one point, an officer is heard saying, "They shot at us too right?"

Police later said no weapon was recovered from the scene.

Johnson earlier said the dashcam and body camera videos suggested departmental policy was violated in the shooting. Three officers have since been "relieved of police powers."

"My promise to the people of Chicago is that we will be guided by the facts and should wrongdoing be discovered; individuals will be held accountable for their actions," Johnson said in a statement Friday. "The shooting of Mr. O'Neal has raised a lot of questions about whether departmental policies were followed. While IPRA conducts a thorough investigation, we will not wait to look for ways we can learn from this incident."

Protesters Friday accused Johnson of being Mayor Rahm Emanuel's "puppet."

"Today is the last day," a protester shouted. "No more Paul O'Neal, no more Laquan McDonald, no more Sandra Bland, no more Rekia Boyd. We want more than these officers getting desk duty."

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