Paul O’Neal Shooting Video Sparks Protest Wave
The release of video footage detailing the events leading up to the death of an 18-year-old Chicago teen who died at the hands of a Chicago police officer sparked another night of protests in the city over the weekend.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that protesters marched through the downtown area on Sunday.
Police chased O’Neal into Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood on July 28 after he allegedly stole a vehicle from suburban Bolingbrook, Ill. Bodycam footage Friday shows the events leading up to O’Neal’s fatal shooting.
O’Neal, who was unarmed at the time, was shot in the back during the pursuit. No one was seen rendering any aid in the footage.
“We are here today fighting for the people, six feet under, whose death ignited a nation,” Ashanti Lumpkin, 17, told the crowd Sunday at Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square. “We are here today to fight so the next generation won’t have to. We are here today to let them know that we will not go away.”
The late night protests shut down portions of the Magnificent Mile near Michigan and Chicago avenues and Adams, State and Lake streets.
While the protests were mostly peaceful, some organizers shouted chants comparing Chicago police to the Ku Klux Klan, and some even taunted officers.
At one point, protesters paused their march to sit down at at an intersection, then threw their arms in the air while screaming, “Hands up, don’t shoot!”
The video was made public via the city’s Independent Police Review Authority’s (IPRA) online case portal Friday morning.
O’Neal’s family, their attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, and a group of activists gathered at the IPRA headquarters were the first to have access to the footage.
After viewing the video, O’Neal’s family left the IPRA headquarters in tears, according to reports.
“We just watched a family watch the execution of their loving son,” Oppenheimer said. “It is one of the most horrific things that I have seen, aside from being in a movie. These police officers decided to play judge, jury and executioner.”
The three officers have since been stripped of their police powers, pending the outcome of an independent investigation. CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said some of the officers violated policy.
“We will not be silenced,” Lumpkin said. “And we will keep fighting until justice is won. Enough is enough.”
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