Supt. Johnson: CPD taking 'hard look' at training, tactics after release of Paul O'Neal shooting video

ByLiz Nagy and Will Jones via WLS logo
Sunday, August 7, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

Paul O'Neal, 18, was unarmed when Chicago police fatally shot him in the back.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the department will be taking a "hard look" at its training and tactics in wake of the release of video showing the moments before the fatal police shooting of Paul O'Neal, 18, who was unarmed when police shot him in teh back.

O'Neal was killed July 28 near East 74th Street and South Merrill Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood while police were trying to stop the car he was driving, a Jaguar that was reported stolen from southwest suburban Bolingbrook earlier in the day. On Friday, Chicago police released more than 40 hours of the shooting.

Johnson said that he has asked the department's newly-created Bureau of Professional Standards and its chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, to take a "hard look" at the tactics seen on the video.

Kirkpatrick said the department would not wait for the completion of an investigation by the city's Independent Police Review Authority to implement new tactics and policies and that her bureau would be looking at best practices from around the country.

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.

The release of the videos sparked protests, and those demonstrations continued Saturday night in front of CPD headquarters in the Bronzeville neighborhood.


"The three officers released from their authority isn't enough to bring justice...people of Chicago," said activist Lamon Reccord.

An O'Neal family friend said the 18-year-old's actions behind the wheel of a stolen car didn't give officers the right to open fire in a neighborhood.

"I am disturbed by the focus on Paul O'Neal and not the behavior of the police department," said family friend Jennifer Thompson-Watson. "They are the ones who bear the responsibility for being trained to deal with whatever they encounter."

After protesters prevented Superintendent Johnson from addressing the media on Friday, he tried again on Saturday. This time indoors.

"A lot of people are upset about what they saw and quiet honestly they have right to be upset. There are a lot of questions to answer and a lot of work to do to continue to build the trust that is so important between the police and the community they serve," Johnson said.

Johnson said he was "concerned" by some of the things he saw on the videos, which he said is what led to relieving three officers involved of their police powers. Johnson did not go into specific details, citing the ongoing investigation by IPRA.

The shooting itself was not captured on by a police body camera. Johnson said that police district involved in the shooting had only had the body cameras for about a week.

"It takes time to make using equipment a habit, so I'm not going to beat up on them because they only had the equipment a couple of days and only had a little while to become familiar with it, but it is our job to make sure they know how to use the equipment and use it properly," Johnson said.

1 of 8