Family of man fatally shot by police in 2013 claims officers lied

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The two Chicago police officers who shot and killed Essau Castellanos initially said they'd been shot at, but no gun was ever found on Castellanos. (WLS)

A Chicago family is reacting after they learned about a FBI civil rights investigation three years after a Chicago police officer shot and killed a man.

The two Chicago police officers who shot and killed Essau Castellanos initially said they'd been shot at, but no gun was ever found. His family said the officers are flat-out lying.

Nearly three years after Castellanos' death, his family is still anguished.

"We miss him. And it's really, really difficult," said Michelle Castellanos, his daughter.

Castellanos crashed his car on Chicago's Northwest Side in March 2013. His blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. Two responding officers, who denied chasing Castellanos, fired 19 shots into his vehicle. Three of the shots hit Castellanos.

"These two police officers acted in a ridiculously poor manner. They executed a man," said Daniel O'Connor, attorney for the Castellanos family.

After the shooting, the police union claimed the officers had been shot at by Castellanos. One officer told detectives he'd been hit in the head.

But no gun was ever found on Castellanos and no other bullets were recovered. Neither officer, it was determined, had been shot.

"These guys flat-out killed a guy at the scene, made up a story," O'Connor said.

Over the weekend it came to light that the FBI is investigating the case and has been for two years.

The family has filed a federal lawsuit. In a deposition last year, the officers added something new to their account: that a second person who was armed was in Castellanos' vehicle.

"It's ridiculous. The whole story is concocted baloney," O'Connor said.

The two officers are being represented by the city's law department, which has declined to comment on the case.

Those officers had been on the street until last Friday, which is when the FBI investigation came to light. Police said they've now been placed on desk duty.
Related Topics:
newspolice shootingFBIcivil rightschicago police departmentChicago - Albany Park
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