Chicago Police Brace for “Civil Unrest” After Releasing Video of Black Man Shot in Back

Paul O’Neal, 18, was killed July 28 following a chase in the city’s South Shore neighborhood.

A screenshot of Chicago Police dashcam footage in the aftermath of the Paul O'Neal shootingIndependent Police Review Authority


The Chicago Police Department released video footage Friday morning of the death of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal, who was fatally shot in the back by police during a chase on July 28. In a nationwide conference call and bulletin, the police department warned of “civil unrest” following the video’s release. 

The recording shows O’Neal running a stop sign in a stolen Jaguar before hitting a police cruiser. Officers chase O’Neal, who is unarmed, through a yard in the city’s South Shore neighborhood while shots are fired. Officers can then be heard swearing at O’Neal, face down with a bloodied shirt, while handcuffing his limp hands.

The officer who fatally shot O’Neal was in the cruiser that was hit. His body camera didn’t record when he opened fire; police investigators are looking into whether it was turned on.

Sharon Fairley, head of Chicago’s police oversight board, called the video “shocking and disturbing.” The board is in the process of investigating the incident, but three officers were stripped of their policing powers after a preliminary investigation found that they had violated department policy. Fairley says the video was released because it didn’t jeopardize the investigation.

The O’Neal family has filed a lawsuit against the officers, alleging that they fired “without lawful justification or excuse.”

The Independent Police Review Authority released nine videos of the incident, including the one below.

Warning: This video features graphic content.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate