(CHICAGO) — Surveillance video in connection with a Chicago police officer’s fatally shooting 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman was released Thursday by attorneys for the teen’s family.
A federal judge ordered the release of footage showing the 2013 shooting Thursday after the city withdrew its objection to its being made public.
Chicago police officer Kevin Fry fatally shot Chatman Jan. 7, 2013, in broad daylight during a foot chase, according to court records.
Chatman’s family had fought for the video to be released as part of a wrongful death lawsuit they filed over the shooting against the city, Fry and Chicago police officer Lou Toth, who pursued Chatman along with Fry during the foot chase.
Family members have argued the video will counter the city and police’s narrative that the 17-year-old was a danger to police.
He feared for his life, he said in court documents.
Attorneys for Chatman’s family claimed Thursday before releasing the video that images of the foot chase and shooting will show Chatman never turned toward the officers and that the 17-year-old posed no threat to them.
Police declined to comment but Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city has followed a decades-long policy of not releasing materials related to investigations. “That policy for the city has always existed, which is you don’t do anything to hamper an investigation,” he said at an afternoon news conference. “We’re in the middle of transition to a different policy as it relates to transparency and letting that material out, and the decision there [in the Chatman case] is exactly an example of that.
The Independent Police Review Authority, the city agency that investigates police shootings, cleared Fry — the officer who shot Chatman — of any wrongdoing. He was not criminally charged in connection to the shooting.
Chatman’s death and others have spurred numerous protests in the city, including many organized by Black Lives Matter activists fighting for reform and the end of what they see as institutionalized racism in Chicago’s police department and city government.
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