Chicago Police Videos Show Shooting of Paul O’Neal, Unarmed Black Teen
*TW: We have chosen not to share or promote the videos but there are explicit descriptions below.*
Nine different police videos were released on Friday showing the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal on July 28 after he allegedly stole a vehicle.
In the videos, two officers can be seen shooting at the unarmed teen as he races past them in the allegedly stolen Jaguar through Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. He rams into a police car which ignites further pursuit. After a short foot chase, through a residential yard and over a fence, the officers catch O’Neal, push him down into the ground, and cuff him. However, he had already been mortally wounded at this point as blood stains can be seen on his lower back and his body is limp.
The fatal shot is not shown in any of the nine videos that were released.
After watching the videos with the family, family lawyer Michael Oppenheimer told “We just watched the family watch the execution of their loving son,” Oppenheimer said Friday morning after viewing the videos with O’Neal’s family. “It is one of the most horrific things that I have seen aside from being in a movie. These police, these police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner. The family was so distraught … that they have left.”
Oppenheimer also told CBS News, “What I saw was cold-blooded murder,” he said. “You don’t shoot dogs that are running away.”
CBS News also reports that officers seemed confused about whether or not O’Neal (or someone else) had been shooting back at them during the pursuit. One officer says, “F–king shoot at us,” while cuffing O’Neal’s limp body. Meanwhile, another asks, “They shot at us too, right?” The reactions suggest that officers were unclear as to who was shooting or if they could have been responding to the shots fired by other officers on the scene.
Minutes after the shooting, one of the officers involved can be heard complaining about being put on desk duty while high-fiving another officer. “[I’ll be] on the desk for 30 goddamn days now,” the officer says on the body cam video. The same officer is later heard saying “I shot at the car after it almost hit you.” Then he says, “he almost hit my partner, I f—ing shot at him.”
The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled O’Neal’s death a homicide on Saturday as his autopsy shows he died due to a fatal gunshot wound to his back.
This is yet another tragic loss at the hands of Chicago Police. One that has left O’Neal’s community asking questions and seeking justice. Protesters, which reportedly included some of O’Neal’s family members interrupted a press conference from Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Friday afternoon. They were unable to get answers from Johnson as he left the premises.
We will continue to update this story as more facts are released.
Photo: O’Neal Family