Officers in CPD shooting in CTA Red Line station relieved of powers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The two Chicago officers involved in a shooting at the Grand Red Line station last week have been relieved of their police powers after a recommendation from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability Wednesday.

"As the city of Chicago's police oversight agency, we have a responsibility to keep the public informed and to remain transparent in each of our investigations," COPA Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts said. "Due to the serious nature of both officers' actions, I felt it was necessary to recommend the officers involved be relieved of police powers while we continue to investigate."

The two officers have been assigned to desk duty and will continue to be paid pending the outcome of the COPA investigation, said Thomas Ahern, a department spokesman in an email to ABC 7 Wednesday afternoon.

"Their firearms from the incident are inventoried for forensic testing. They are allowed to carry their credentials and a replacement firearm," Ahern said.

COPA reached the decision after reviewing video from the CTA, third-party cellphone footage and witness interviews.

The agency said it had not yet reached a conclusion in its investigation of the incident.

A Fraternal Order of Police spokesman also issued a statement.

"The FOP believes that no officer should be subject to discipline until an investigation is completed, including statements from the involved officers," he said. "COPA, like the mayor and superintendent, should not be pandering to the media until the investigation has taken place."

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office dropped the charges against the man who was shot by CPD officers Friday.

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The two officers involved in a shooting at the Grand Red Line station last week will be immediately relieved of their police powers.

During rush hour on Wednesday, protesters took to the State and Lake Red Line CTA station to demand changes to how the transit stations are patrolled.

RELATED: Chicago Police Department's new CTA safety plan includes 50 additional officers to mass transit unit

The small crowd of protesters sat on the platform before marching through the Loop.

Chicago police identified Ariel Roman as the man injured in the police-involved shooting in the underground station at West Grand Avenue and North State Street in the city's River North neighborhood. The incident was caught on camera by witnesses.

CPD released a statement Sunday that said Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck asked Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx to drop the charges against Roman. Roman faced resisting arrest and criminal narcotics charges, according to police.

"As noted in the Chicago Police Department's statement, these charges were filed directly by the CPD, as they do with all felony drug cases and misdemeanor offenses," said a spokesperson for the state's attorney's office. "The charges did not come through our office, however, CPD requested and the State's Attorney agreed, that the charges should be dismissed today."

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office is working with the FBI to investigate the police-involved shooting.

"Given the totality of circumstances and the Department's significant level of concern around this incident, it would be insensitive to advocate for these charges," Anthony Guglielmi, CPD's Chief Communications Officer said. "While we will not rush to judgment, the level of concern over the tactics used in this incident is significant."

RELATED: Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls CTA Red Line shooting video 'extremely disturbing'; FBI, Cook County State's Attorney's Office launch investigation

The state's attorney's office said it couldn't comment further while an investigation is underway.

The shooting occurred after police said mass transit officers on a Red Line train saw a man moving from train car to train car, which is against a city ordinance. The officers made contact with the man, and attempted to arrest him shortly before 4:30 p.m.

A struggle ensued on the Grand platform as the man resisted arrest, police said. Officers then deployed their Tasers.

As the man continued to resist, police said one of the officers shot twice. Other mass transit officers came to render aid, and the man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Police said Saturday that the man had surgery and remains in critical condition.

A witness recorded a video showing the struggle, with a man held on the ground by two police officers.

"He was resisting but he was not violent, as far as I could see, and he was unarmed," said Michael McDunnah, who shot the video.

Roughly two minutes pass with police pinning the man to the ground. The female officer called for backup as the man on the ground refused to give up.

"At some point the male officer said 'shoot him,'" McDunnah said. "The female officer at that point, I think, pulled out her mace and maced him in the face."

That's when the situation appears to escalate. The man staggers to his feet, freshly maced.

"That was the point at which the female officer fired her weapon," said McDunnah.

McDunnah said his view was obstructed by the officer at this point.

"I could not see if it hit him," he said. "He sort of lurched. It looked like it did hit him."

From there, the video shows the man and officers sprinting up the escalator, and another gunshot can be heard.

Another witness recorded officers tending to the man after he'd been shot, before taking him away in an ambulance.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the witness video shared on social media "extremely disturbing" and said "the actions by these officers are deeply concerning."

"The incident is being independently investigated by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to ensure the public gains a complete picture of what happened," Lightfoot said. "Furthermore, to ensure full transparency and accountability, I support Superintendent Beck's decision to contact the State's Attorney due to the potential criminal nature of this incident."

Chicago police have also launched an internal investigation into the shooting.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call COPA at 312-746-3609 or visit
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