With 5 Chicago police shootings since late July, Supt. Brown explains why public hasn't seen body camera footage

CPD Garfield Ridge shooting leaves man reportedly attacking officers with butcher knife dead

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, September 6, 2020
With 5 Chicago police shootings since late July, Supt. Brown explains why public hasn't seen body camera footage
There have been five Chicago police shootings since late July, but the public hasn't seen any body camera footage yet.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After Chicago police shot and killed a man early Saturday morning, police Superintendent David Brown talked about why body camera footage from other recent police shootings has not yet been released.

There have been five police-involved shootings in Chicago since July 29.

"You don't want early release of video to interfere with the investigation or witness testimony," Brown said. "A witness might see the video and then it taints what they say they saw. I really defer all the judgments to COPA (the Civilian Office of Police Accountability); I think that's the way the policy was written. I believe it's a well-written policy."

RELATED: Chicago police fatally shoot man who reportedly lunged at officer with butcher knife in Garfield Ridge's Vittum Park, COPA investigating

Officers attempted to use a taser on the man when he lunged back at them with a butcher knife, according to Chicago Police

COPA said it hopes to release video from each of the shootings in the coming week, but cautions key investigative steps need to be followed in each case.

Early Saturday morning, Chicago police shot and killed a man in Vittum Park after he allegedly lunged at officers with a large butcher knife in the city's Garfield Ridge neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

RELATED: Rally demands justice for Miguel Vega, man killed in Pilsen shootout with police

Family members say Miguel Vega, the man who died after a shootout with Chicago police officers, was unarmed.

In its complete statement, COPA said, "We understand the public's desire for release of video related to the most recent incidents and COPA is committed to releasing transparency materials at the earliest point possible and on many occasions has released video in advance of the 60 day deadline required under City policy. Many of the incidents that have occurred since July 30th will be released in the coming weeks.

However in addition to releasing body worn camera, COPA has a responsibility to gather and release all POD, CTA, in-car camera as well as 3rd party video. In accordance with the City's video release policy, at the time of release COPA must also include all associated 911 calls, police radio transmissions, officer use of force reports and other related materials which all must be appropriately reviewed to ensure it is void of any personally protected information.

Moreover, COPA must always conduct all key investigative steps including the interview of officer and civilian witnesses prior to release. This ensures that the integrity of both the criminal and administrative investigations are not compromised by the release of these materials before statements from witnesses have been provided.

Since the agency launched 3 years ago our goal has been to remain transparent and build trust and confidence in our investigations. Our commitment to fulfill the city's video release policy is unwavering, as is our duty to preserve the integrity of investigation while also understanding the public's interest."