According to reports from the New York Times, a police officer fatally shot a man Saturday night on the South Side of Chicago, raising the ire of neighbors who confronted the police for several hours after the shooting. The chief of patrol for the Chicago Police Department, Fred Waller told the New York Times that officers on patrol noted a bulge on his waistline that they believed could have been a gun. A confrontation arose when the officers approached the man, 37-year-old Harith Augustus, and he was then shot by an officer.

Recounting the incident, Waller tells the New York Times, “When they approached him, he tried to push their hands away… He started flailing and swinging away, trying to make an escape. And as he made an escape, he reached for the gun.” Chicago PD said that they later recovered a semiautomatic weapon from Augustus whom they did not believe was licensed to carry a concealed firearm. Soon after the man was shot, activists, residents, and local journalists converged on the scene, with many recording confrontations between officers and residents, many of whom contradicted the Chicago PD’s record of events.

According to William Calloway, a prominent activist who lives in the area, witnesses say that Augustus did not actually reach for a gun. Calloway also said that he (Augustus) was a state-licensed barber who worked nearby. Calloway later criticized the police response to the protests, telling the New York Times, “They attacked us.” 

When they see that the community was outraged and speaking their minds, they didn’t like that. They want us to be docile. They want us to be meek.

Chicago has been mired in police accountability debates for the last few years, in 2015 the shooting of Laquan McDonald resulted in a police officer being charged with murder. Also in 2015, police officers shot a teenager carrying a baseball bat as well as an uninvolved bystander, and in 2016, an officer shot an unarmed teenager in the back.