Paul O'Neal Chicago police shooting video released

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Video showing the Chicago police shooting that killed 18-year-old Paul O'Neal was released Friday.

More than 40 hours of video captured by police dashboard and body cameras was released to the public via the Independent Police Review Authority's online case portal around 11 a.m.

WARNING: The following clip contains raw video captured by police dashboard cameras and body cameras of the Chicago police shooting that killed Paul O'Neal.
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Watch raw video clips from police dashboard and body cameras of the Chicago police shooting that killed Paul O'Neal.

Police shot and killed O'Neal on July 28 near East 74th Street and South Merrill Avenue, while they were trying to stop the car he was driving, a Jaguar police said was reported stolen from southwest suburban Bolingbrook earlier in the day.

The video shows an officer getting out of a police SUV patrolling Merrill and nearly being clipped by the jaguar, which careened off the SUV as both officers opened fire on the car. It drove off and the officers continued to shoot. The officers are nearly in each other's line of fire and shooting toward an oncoming police car down the street.

Dashcam from the oncoming police car captured the Jaguar crashing into it head-on and causing the airbag to deploy. O'Neal ran, and officers pursued on foot him down a gangway between houses as multiple police officers converged on the scene.

One of those officers shot him in a nearby backyard, after telling him to put his hands up. There is no video of O'Neal actually being shot.

The next time O'Neal is seen on video he is face down, being handcuffed and bleeding from a bullet wound in his back.

Multiple officers said they believed O'Neal had fired shots at them. One of the officers screamed at him, "Why did you have to shoot at us?" Others seemed more hesitant, asking, "They shot at us too, right?"

One officer asked, perhaps rhetorically, "Got anything on ya?" as he searched O'Neal's backpack.

After analyzing hours of video, the ABC7 I-Team said it was apparent the officer who fired the fatal shots thought O'Neal had fired on the officers who were first on the scene. O'Neal was unarmed. The shots that officer and his partner heard were likely fired by fellow officers down the street.

No one was seen rendering any aid. O'Neal was still alive while at the scene. He died a few hours later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

In a conversation with a police supervisor, the officer who believed he was the one who shot O'Neal said he's concerned he will be "crucified."

Officer: We came head on, I took off this way, he was coming over this way, when I pushed this way I didn't know if he was armed or not.
Supervisor: Do you know how many times you fired?
Officer: Maybe five?
Supervisor: OK cool.

Video of the shooting was recovered from dashboard cameras and body cameras worn by two of the three officers who fired at O'Neal. Police said the shooting itself was not captured because the body camera worn by the officer who fired the fatal shot was either not working or fell off during the chase. The officers had received their body cameras 8-10 days before the shooting said Frank Giancamilli, a CPD spokesman.

In the last week, three officers were stripped of their police powers, pending the outcome of an independent investigation. Supt. Johnson said some of the officers violated department policy. Chicago Police Department policy prohibits officers from shooting at a moving vehicle.

O'Neal's family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Monday.


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Paul O'Neal's family was visibly distraght after viewing video of his shooting by police.

The video was made available first to O'Neal's family, their attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, and a group of community activists invited by police at IPRA headquarters. IPRA is charged with investigating the shooting.

The family described the video as hurtful and disturbing, and O'Neal's mother and sister were both unable to watch it in its entirety.

O'Neal's family left IPRA headquarters in tears, exiting through a back door. His sister, Briana Adams, was visibly distraught at a media conference later Friday afternoon.

"I want everybody to know that Paul had goals," she said before breaking down.

Adams said she and her mother were trying to get O'Neal on the right path in life just as he was killed by Chicago police.

"We was really hurt. It was disturbing, very disturbing. Not the way anything is supposed to be done," Adams said.

Ja'Mal Green, spokesperson for the O'Neal family, said they believe they witnessed an execution on the video. The family and their attorney are now asking for a special prosecutor to be appointed to the case.

"There is no question in my mind that they ran this kid down and murdered him," said Oppenheimer.

"The only shots anybody could have heard, in this video or in this case, are the shots of the police officer improperly firing at the car and at Paul O'Neal," he added.

Oppenheimer said he wants to know why the body camera of the officer who shot O'Neal was turned off. He is also disturbed by what he views as a lack of remorse and very casual attitude from the officers at the scene, as well as how they seemed to only care about their jobs after the shooting.

"They cannot play judge, jury and executioner. That's what happened here today, and their attitude after the shooting while Paul lay dying on the ground handcuffed demonstrates that," Oppenheimer said.

"This is amazing to me, how these officers come in our neighborhoods and treat us like savages. The way Paul was treated was ridiculous, you know, if I could say," Green said.

Adams said she wants people to know the person seen handcuffed and bleeding on the ground was a human being.

"Paul was loved by my mother, his family, me. He was everybody's best friend. He loved to keep smiles on everybody's face," she said.

O'Neal's mother is asking for privacy. She is still too distraught to speak publicly about the video.


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A group about 50 protesters gathered outside of CPD headquarters at 35th and Michigan between 8 and 8:30 p.m.

A group about 50 protesters gathered outside of CPD headquarters at 35th and Michigan between 8 and 8:30 p.m.

The group was comprised of black community members not representing any particular group. The protest lasted about an hour, with protesters pressing forward against the front of the building and at times becoming confrontational with officers, wanting to know their thoughts on the video.

At another point the protesters dropped to the ground in a die-in.

"You guys shot him down, y'all asked about 'Did you get a shot? Did you get a shot? Oh I shot that--' You know what I'm saying? They shaking hands, they smokin' cigarettes, I didn't see no remorse," said activist Aleta Clark.

"This is all wrong. Why are we screaming at these police officers? Everyone is not the same. Every cop is not the same. Some cops actually want to protects and serve. They want to serve us, they have families too," said Valencia Hubbard, who also came to the protest.

When other protesters heard Hubbard expressing her opinion, they were unhappy about it and huddled around her. The protesters have since dissipated and headed to a neighborhood further south to continue protests.

Police never once responded to the demonstrators outside their headquarters.

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The release of hours of video of the police shooting of Paul O'Neal is reigniting debate about Chicago police reforms and accountability.

Earlier in the day Jedidiah Brown, a community activist, said after he watched the videos in the same room as O'Neal's family Friday morning, he was heartbroken and angry. He said he thinks what he saw will create a larger divide between Chicago police and the community they serve.

Brown also said the community needs to act strategically in response to seeing the video, not violently.

Many of the community activists shown the video along with O'Neal's family remained critical of police conduct.

"Until we can fix this racist department, police department, it just recycles," said Andre Smith, an activist.

William Calloway, the community activist largely credited with getting the video of Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times released to the public, also watched the video before it was released to the public and was visibly shaken by what he saw.

"I'm just tired of seeing us getting killed," Calloway said.

Calloway also said he believes the situations surrounding the shootings of McDonald and O'Neal are similar, and show a pattern of excessive force.

"He had his gun in his hand and he was just prepared to shoot. He wasn't trying to ask any questions about anything, and I'm sure that was not proper protocol or Chicago Police Department policy," he said.

Tio Hardiman, of Violence Interrupters, said he wants the U.S. Department of Justice to take over the Chicago Police Department.

"Nothing has really changed. They're doing the best they can on one hand, but the corruption and misconduct is too entrenched right now," Hardiman said.

The release of the O'Neal video is the first time the city has released a video of a fatal police shooting under a new police meant, in part, to restore public trust after the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

"A lot of people are saying we're moving in a right direction, though, with how it's being dealt with," said Father Michael Pfleger.

And despite the outrage Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, who is also a member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's task force on police accountability, called the release a step in the right direction.

"It used to be that people would file FOIAs, lawsuits, videotape wasn't released for years. This is a positive step in the right direction, so IPRA should be commended," Lightfoot said.

While some say increased accountability will help repair relations, others question if the gulf between communities and police officers can ever fully be bridged.


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When CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson walked out of police headquarters around 1 p.m. a small group of protesters stood in front of the microphones, refusing to let him talk.

When Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson walked out of police headquarters around 1 p.m. to speak publicly for the first time about the shooting video, a small group of protesters stood in front of the microphones, blocking Johnson and refusing to let him talk. The shouted their displeasure with the department.

"There's no need for him to say anything," one protester repeated.

"We watched that video of Paul O'Neal being shot by a police officer and now we have a superintendent who believes it was justified!" said protester Lamon Reccord.

The protesters spoke directly to Johnson several times, but he never said a word to them. After about five minutes, Johnson and police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi turned around and headed back inside police headquarters. Eyewitness News reporter Laura Podesta stopped them at the door to find out why.

Podesta: We're trying to get answers. They're trying to get answers.
Johnson: They aren't trying to get a response from me.
Podesta: Well are you going to respond to them at all?
Guglielmi: We'll email the statement.

The full statement from Supt. Johnson said:

"I applaud the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) and Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley for being so transparent and open with the video release and I want to pledge the full cooperation of the Chicago Police Department during this investigation.

My promise to the people of Chicago is that we will be guided by the facts and should wrongdoing be discovered; individuals will be held accountable for their actions.

The shooting of Mr. O'Neal has raised a lot of questions about whether departmental policies were followed. While IPRA conducts a thorough investigation, we will not wait to look for ways we can learn from this incident.

I've challenged my team to take a hard look at the training and tactics from this incident, including looking at national best practices on use of force to determine how we can best serve our officers so that they can best serve the people of the city.

You can expect this department to be open and honest about what we discover and we will work together with our community partners to implement solutions.

In order to work toward making a better department we must acknowledge the things we can do better and that work starts today."

IPRA Administrator Sharon Fairley also released a statement Friday morning:

"First and foremost, like all Chicagoans, I am deeply saddened by the death of Paul O'Neal and my heart goes out to his family and friends and to the community that has lost yet another young black man. I want to express my personal commitment to seeing that justice is served and our pursuit of justice here will be steadfast. I applaud Superintendent Johnson for his swift and immediate actions in this incident."

IPRA said the investigation is still in its early stages and they are moving as quickly as possible to come to a fair conclusion.

Fraternal Order of Police president Dean Angelo released a statement Friday afternoon:

"As the Chicago Police Department continues its investigation, the Fraternal Order of Police awaits further developments and communications concerning this incident. While there are multiple aspects to consider pertaining to the released videos, it is important to be mindful of how rapidly this event unfolded. Due to the fact that this chaotic incident occurred in a matter of moments, each individual perspective needs to be taken into consideration.

It is the Lodge's hope that the process of this investigation will be conducted in a manner that is guided by the utmost level of professionalism and expertise. Now more than ever, police-involved situations which result in a death need to be completed in a time frame necessary to ensure that a thorough and impartial examination is adhered to.

While this case remains fluid in nature, it is of critical importance to every Chicagoan to not rush to judgement and to allow the systems in place to play out."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement Friday evening:

"A young man lost his life, and as a city we grieve any time that happens. I support Superintendent Johnson's quick and decisive action over the past eight days, which I believe underscores the fundamental change in how the city handles police shootings. I know Sharon Fairley is already investigating this case, and I have faith that she will reach a conclusion and promptly issue recommendations."
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