Chicago police officers fired about 96 times over 41 seconds, killing Dexter Reed: VIDEO

26-year-old fired 1st shot after being pulled over for seatbelt violation, COPA says | Protest ensues after videos released

ByChuck Goudie, Stephanie Wade, Michelle Gallardo, Liz Nagy, and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel, and Tom Jones WLS logo
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Cops fired about 96 times over 41 seconds, killing Dexter Reed: VIDEO
COPA released bodycam video Tuesday of a police-involved Chicago shooting that killed Dexter Reed in Garfield Park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability released bodycam video Tuesday of a deadly police shooting last month in Garfield Park.

Dexter Reed, 26, was killed by Chicago police on March 21 during a traffic stop that ended with dozens of bullets fired.

COPA said video footage and initial reports confirm that Reed fired first, hitting an officer. COPA said four other officers then returned fire. COPA said the officers fired approximately 96 times over 41 seconds.

A 23-year-old rookie officer fired at least 50 of those shots.

Reed was pulled over by five Chicago police officers along the 3800-block of West Ferdinand Street shortly after 6 p.m. on March 21.

Reed was stopped for a seatbelt violation, COPA said. The traffic stop ended with Reed's SUV filled with at least a dozen bullet holes.

During the incident, Reed got out of his vehicle from the passenger side, and the police firing continued, as Reed was still allegedly armed. Video shows, at some point, Reed stops moving, and three shots appear to be fired by police after that.

The police deadly force policy is to continue firing until the lethal threat is stopped.

A second view of the shooting from a police bodycam shows the officer who was wounded in the wrist. He was on the passenger side of Reed's vehicle.

SEE ALSO | COPA memo calls into question 'validity of the traffic stop' that led to fatal CPD shooting

Reed was critically wounded, and died at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

It is not known how many shots were fired initially by Reed. Although, sound on the video appears to indicate he fired multiple shots.

Chicago police said the injured officer was in good condition, and a gun was found at the scene.

At the time of the shooting, Reed was facing charges for allegedly carrying a gun in his pocket, while walking into a street festival.

He was in court on that gun charge less than two weeks before his fatal encounter with police.

Protest ensues after bodycam footage of Dexter Reed's shooting death released

A group of demonstrators stunted Chicago traffic after bodycam video of the deadly police shooting was released Tuesday.

Meanwhile, raw anger over Dexter Reed's deadly traffic stop dissolved a peaceful protest into confrontational chaos.

Dozens of demonstrators stepped off the sidewalk, rushing the intersection of west Harrison and Kedzie and stunting traffic.

Police intervention triggered the crowd. Many of those officers work at the same station as the four who shot and killed Dexter Reed.

"The 11th District, they should be accountable for everything they did, and I will not let them rest without suffering for what they did for my older brother," said Porscha Banks, Dexter Reed's sister.

Dexter Reed's family is visibly haunted by the body camera footage they viewed Monday of his last moments on March 21. Speaking Tuesday afternoon, his mother collapsed, remembering her son's last words to her.

The family of Dexter Reed spoke out Tuesday after he was fatally shot by Chicago police last month.

"He said 'Mom, I'm going for a ride,' and they killed him. They killed him! They killed him," Nicole Banks said.

Outside COPA's office on Tuesday, attorneys for Dexter Reed's family gathered, calling for the tactical officers involved in the ill-fated traffic stop to be punished.

"I talked to Mayor Johnson on Sunday and explained to him that those officers need to be held accountable," said Dexter Reed Sr., the father of Dexter Reed.

While never explicitly acknowledging, as both COPA determined, and the body cam video shows, that it was Reed who fired first, there was an attempt to explain what may have led to that reaction.

"If I was in that situation, I would be terrified. I wouldn't know how to specifically react, other than to protect myself," said Roosevelt Reed, Dexter Reed's uncle.

Chicago police and oversight investigators have said the situation started as a traffic stop for a seatbelt violation initiated by a squad of tactical team, plain clothed officers.

"He made a conscious decision to fire first upon these officers, and if you look at video that shows the shooting from a distance, you can clearly see the officer leaning in and looking through the passenger side window of the vehicle when he is shot," said Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara.

But the community doesn't buy it.

"It's ironic that not having a seatbelt was significantly less dangerous to Dexter's life than five officers shooting at the brother," one demonstrator said.

"Ninety-six shots. Ninety-six shots. How many does it take?" another speaker said.

The Chicago Fire Department said one woman was injured at the protest.

The woman was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition, CFD said. It was not immediately clear how she was injured.

And as multiple investigations around another deadly police shooting play out, Mayor Brandon Johnson has been trying to offer reassurance.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Johnson expressed his condolences for Dexter Reed, and said he is praying for the full recovery of the injured officer.

Mayor Brandon Johnson speaks after COPA released video showing the fatal shooting of Dexter Reed by Chicago police officers.

"All of us up here are making a firm commitment to collaboration to cooperation and to provide transparency for the people of Chicago," Johnson said.

Johnson said the shooting occurred just blocks from his own community.

"It is not lost on me that both Dexter Reed and the officer could have been my students," Johnson said.

Johnson said he will work with COPA and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office to provide transparency on the investigation.

"Shooting a police officer can never be condoned," Johnson said. "Never condoned, never excused. I will never stand for that and neither will the city of Chicago. And we also have to be clear that we hold our police to the highest of standards."

The conclusions and any recommendations regarding the shooting will come in a report from Chicago police that could take months to release.

In a statement Tuesday, the Chicago Police Department said, "This shooting remains under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) with the full cooperation of the Chicago Police Department. We cannot make a determination on this shooting until all the facts are known and this investigation has concluded."

COPA First Deputy Chief Administrator Ephraim Eaddy released a statement, saying, "As an agency established on the core principle of reform, we take investigations into the use of deadly force and surrounding circumstances very seriously. COPA has the responsibility, as is noted in the Federal Consent Decree and Municipal Ordinance, to review every police shooting involving CPD officers. Each use of deadly force must be evaluated by examining the totality of circumstances, including the officer's actions prior to the use of force. Accordingly, we will carefully review the actions of the involved police officers and their supervisors to determine whether training, policy and directives were properly followed. Our immediate investigatory steps included responding to the scene, viewing available body worn camera footage, and observing the collection of evidence, including shell casings and other ballistics evidence. As the investigation continues, COPA staff have canvassed the area, observed the autopsy of Dexter Reed, Jr., continued to identify and interview all witnesses, obtained, and reviewed all available video footage, and engaged with the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Laboratory in the processing and testing of all forensic evidence. COPA investigators have also provided briefings to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office (CCSAO), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), and sent a formal request to Superintendent Larry Snelling recommending the Chicago Police Department relieve four officers of their police powers during the pendency of this investigation. We have also been in contact with the family and will continue to provide updates as the investigation is ongoing."

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin released a statement Tuesday, saying: "The violence in this video is shocking. My heart goes out to Dexter's family and friends, who are grieving the loss of his young life."

"Our law enforcement officers protect and serve their communities with honor and courage and face many risks, but any who fail to follow the high standards they have sworn to uphold must be held accountable. As we continue to gather the facts surrounding this horrific incident, I am hopeful that a thorough investigation will be conducted in a fair and timely manner.

"These tragedies exacerbate and inflict trauma on the community, and we must continue to foster healing and support for neighbors, loved ones, and families exposed to this pain."

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth issued a statement, saying, "The video released today and the violence captured in it is shocking and disheartening. My thoughts are with the friends, family and loved ones of Dexter Reed as they continue to mourn his tragic death. I'm also hoping for a full recovery of the Chicago Police officer who was shot during this incident, and I share the Mayor's view that attempting to murder a law enforcement officer must never condoned or excused.

"As the investigation into this horrible incident continues, we must allow it to play out fairly and responsibly. As that happens, we must also refocus our efforts to bolster investments in comprehensive crime prevention initiatives, enhance efforts to keep illegal firearms off the streets and strengthen accountability over the Chicago Police Department, which must continue the hard work of rebuilding trust through transparency."