Chicago police release bodycam footage after protest erupts over shooting of black man
An activist organization based in Chicago, Black Youth Project 100, identified the victim and said that he was an African-American barber and father.
Chicago police on Sunday released bodycam footage of a fatal shooting of a black man that had triggered protests in South Side on Saturday.
Violent clashes between the protesters and officers was reported on Saturday evening after a police officer shot and killed the man, who the officers suspected to be armed, according to reports.
Superintendant Eddie Johnson said the video was released within a day to avoid a repeat of clashes between law enforcement and enraged protesters, Chicago Tribune reported.
“In this particular instance after seeing what transpired last night, I have an obligation to this city, to the community and to these police officers to make sure this city is safe and calm,” Johnson told reporters in a press conference. “And last night after what I saw on video, you know, bottles being thrown, urine being thrown at the police officers, we can’t have another night like that.”
The Chicago Police Department's chief communications officer, Anthony Guglielmi, in a statement released on Twitter, said that the officers on foot had said that they observed a man "exhibiting characteristics of an armed person."
Police Chief Fred Waller, in a press conference on late Saturday, said that they "saw a subject that they thought might have been armed around his waistband."
The chief added that when the officers approached the man, he became anxious and attempted to push the officers' hands away and began "flailing and swinging" at the officers. Waller said that as the man was trying to escape, he appeared to reach for his weapon, which spurred the officer to fire shots at him.
Waller described the weapon as a "semi-automatic" and added that he had "magazines" on him. The police department has not identified the victim or the officer yet.
An activist organization based in Chicago, Black Youth Project 100, however, identified the victim and said that he was an African-American barber and father and went by the name of Harith "Snoop" Augustus. When the organization interviewed one of his friends at the barbershop, they described him as a quiet and good man.
Fire department spokesperson Larry Merritt, while talking to the Associated Press, said that the shooting occurred predominantly in the African-American South Shore neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.
Witnesses present at the scene of the incident said that a female police officer had shot a man and then he was "immediately put in a squad car and taken away from the scene," according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The case is reportedly being investigated by Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability to see whether the officer's use of deadly force on the victim was justified. According to police protocol, four officers were placed on administrative duty.
The spokesperson added that the man was taken to Jackson Park Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Reports state that no other officers were injured during the incident.
Many witnesses gathered at the shooting site and began questioning the police officers — some even put the clips of the incident on Facebook Live — and began shouting "murderers" as the officers stood watching the commotion building.
The Chicago Tribune reported that there were nearly 150 people protesting at the shooting site on Saturday night, and at least 80 law enforcement officers were at the protest site to monitor it.
Reports state that the protest resulted in a clash between the officers with batons and the demonstrators after the officers moved their defense line forward.
During the demonstration, a protester yelled out the names of other people who had been fatally shot by the Chicago police, which included the 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, according to reports.
Officials, after the protest, said that at least four protesters were arrested on Saturday while around three officers had sustained minor injuries during the demonstration.