Police face questions over El shooting

September 20, 2010 4:38:07 AM PDT
After Chicago police shot and killed a suspect on the CTA Red Line, witnesses now dispute how police handled the situation.

On Saturday at the Garfield Red Line stop, some witnesses say a suspect did not pull out a gun, and they do not know why police shot him. But police insist that the suspect pointed a gun.

The family of George Lash, 19, is not accepting police accounts and plans on talking to an attorney Monday.

Police were called to the El stop by a conductor at 1:40 a.m. Saturday after reports that Lash was drunk and showing a gun. The conductor stopped the train. Police approached the suspect and shot when they say he pulled out a weapon.

Some witnesses say it never happened and that the shooting death was unjustified. The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating. Lash has a criminal past, but his family says he did not deserve to die.

"She didn't have to shoot him. She could have Tasered him," said aunt Dorothy Johnson.

"They got into a tussle or whatever, and they tussleed him down to the ground," said witness Loretta Langford. "The lady said he had a gun, and they started shooting. They didn't have no regards to the people on the train."

"I'm glad our officers are safe. We took a dangerous person off the street. Who knows what might have happened if we weren't able to intervene?" said Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis.

Lash was pronounced dead at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County at 2:31 a.m. Saturday with multiple gunshot wounds, according to the medical examiner's office.

Unlike buses, CTA train cars do not have cameras onboard. Police say a gun was recovered after the shooting.


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