3rd Chicago cop ‘relieved of police powers' after fatal shooting

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - The third Chicago Police officer involved in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man Thursday night in the South Shore neighborhood has been “relieved of his police powers,” officials announced Saturday night.

The other two officers who opened fire on Paul O’Neal in the 7300 block of South Merrill were reassigned to administrative duty late Friday, when police said it “appears that departmental policies may have been violated,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Autopsy results released Saturday showed O’Neal was shot in the back.

“Following the release of autopsy results from the Cook County Medical Examiner this morning, [Chicago Police Supt. Eddie] Johnson spent hours behind closed doors at police headquarters Saturday getting briefed on the results and [re-reviewing] video evidence with Department officials,” Guglielmi said in an email Saturday night.

“While the events are under formal investigation by IPRA, all officers involved have been relieved of police powers and removed from operational duties. Johnson has pledged that CPD will conduct a thorough and fact based administrative review of the incident. He also stressed that the Department will be transparent and open with the community on findings once IPRA completes its review.”

The shooting happened about 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the 7300 block of South Merrill, where officers tried to pull over a Jaguar convertible reported stolen earlier that day, according to police.

The Jaguar was blocked in, but the officers opened fire when the driver tried to take off. He crashed into a parked vehicle, police said.

O’Neal, of the 1700 block of East 70th Street, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died at 9:08 p.m.

The other person in the car, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested and charged with a felony count of possession of a stolen vehicle, police said Saturday. His court information was not immediately available. It wasn’t clear who was the driver.

On Friday, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson “spent most of this afternoon with top advisors and command staff reviewing the preliminary information,” Guglielmi said. The officers involved were wearing body cameras, and the police vehicles at the scene had their cameras activated, he said.

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