CHICAGO (WLS) -- A police-involved shooting in Chicago a year and a half ago is being investigated by federal authorities and a retired judge recently released dashcam video of the incident.
The police officer in question has been on desk duty for months while investigations continue.
While the incident did not attract significant public attention at the time it occurred, it has now because a retired judge felt video of the event ought to be seen.
On December 22, 2013, a rolling squad with its dashcam on arrived as back-up to a police stop at 95th and LaSalle, where officers had pulled over a car for speeding. There were six juveniles in the car, and one of them is seen jumping out and fleeing on foot. It turns out the car had been stolen.
One of the officers, identified in court documents as Marco Proano, approached the vehicle with sidearm drawn. As the suspect car goes into reverse, Proano opened fire - shooting into the car - and was the only officer to do so. A civil suit filed months later claimed that Proano fired more than a dozen rounds into the vehicle filled with minors without provocation, cause or justification.
Two of the teenagers were wounded - one in the shoulder, the other in his hip and heel. The original police account was that one of the teens was attempting to exit the car, and that figuring that juvenile was in danger, Proano fired to stop the car.
A pellet gun was found in the car, but attorneys for the teens say it was never pointed at police. The city, as is customary in lawsuits, sought an order keeping the dashcam video under seal - saying that it does show what is being done or said in the car, and that it contains no sound. That was granted.
Retired juvenile court Judge Andrew Berman - who heard the criminal case - saw the video, made a copy and provided it to the Chicago Reporter. Judge Berman said Friday afternoon, "I had never seen anything so shocking in my career. It was outrageous. A reckless disregard for human life, and the larger community has a right to know."
Berman said one of the teens had jumped from the back seat and was pushing the accelerator with his hand when the car reversed and the shots were fired.
The police department said: "The officer was immediately moved off the street and assigned to desk duty, and the matter was referred to state and federal authorities."
Several of the teenagers were criminally charged because of the stolen car, but their families also sued the city claiming excessive force.
Pending council approval next month, the city has tentatively agreed to settle that suit for $360,000.
Video released of 2013 Chicago police shooting under investigation
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