Federal civil rights lawsuit filed after Chicago police officer shot 13-year-old boy, paralyzing him

Michelle Gallardo Image
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Federal lawsuit filed after cop shot 13-year-old boy, paralyzing him
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Attorneys for a 13-year-old boy who was shot by Chicago police and left paralyzed say the officer involved should not have been on active duty.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Attorneys for a 13-year-old boy who was shot by Chicago police and badly injured say the officer involved should not have been on active duty.

Surveillance video from a West Side gas station shows the moment the night of May 18, when a 13-year-old boy running from police is shot, as he appears to lift his hands in the air. Police say the boy was a passenger in a stolen car and ran from police.

Attorneys for the boy's family, who only identify him as A.G., say he is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

WATCH | Mom of 13-year-old shot by police: 'I just want justice for my baby'

The family attorneys have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, against the City of Chicago and the officer who opened fire that night, Noah Ball.

"He can't even go outside without his mom and his brothers taking the wheelchair down three flights of stairs," said Andrew Stroth, his family's attorney. "His reality is a nightmare."

RELATED | Family of unarmed 13-year-old shot by CPD files lawsuit; Mom says teen may be permanently paralyzed

The original lawsuit, which was filed five months ago without the officer's name, was dismissed and re-filed Wednesday to include new information that attorneys believe strengthens their case.

It involves an incident from a year earlier, when on June 16, 2021, Officer Ball fired upon a suspect he was chasing down an alley. In that case, the suspect was not hit.

In his incident report published by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, Officer Ball stated the offender fired first. COPA also released the body camera footage of the 2021 shooting, and said the case remains active. Meaning there are currently two open investigations against the same officer.

"Noah Ball should not have been out there on the streets of Chicago with a gun in his hand," said Brian Eldridge, co-counsel at Hart, McLaughlin & Eldridge. "Noah Ball should have been on the bench. He should have been retrained."

The Chicago Police Department said Officer Ball has been relieved of his police powers and is on administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

The officer's attorney meanwhile released a lengthy statement Wednesday that reads, in part: "Officer Ball reasonably believed ... that the occupants of that vehicle had been involved in a very serious felony and had made maximum efforts to evade the police and that the object being pointed at him was a firearm....This discharge [of his weapon], while tragic, was within policy... By any standard Officer Ball's actions were reasonable....We are confident we can defend this position before any court or tribunal."

A spokesperson for the city's law department meanwhile would only say that they will review the lawsuit once it's served, and that they do not comment on pending litigation.