FOX 32 NEWS - The leader of the City Council's African-American aldermen applauded the release of a police involved shooting video, just eight days after the fatal encounter took place.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer did what hundreds of thousands of people across America were doing Friday. He reviewed a series of dash-cam and body-cam videos, showing parts of a chaotic encounter in which 18-year old Paul O'Neal was shot dead. O'Neal was driving what police say was a stolen Jaguar.
“If I'm getting attacked with a car, and if I'm a police officer, maybe my reaction is to shoot to stop the offender from running me over or killing me. Again, but at the same time, it looks, from what I saw on the tape, it was a situation where it could have been avoided. And they could have apprehended the gentleman and processed him or arrested him or whatever they need to do without killing him,” Ald. Sawyer said.
Mayor Emanuel's reacted only in writing, noting "the fundamental change in how the city handles police shootings. I know (IPRA's) Sharon Fairley is already investigating this case, and I have faith that she will reach a conclusion and promptly issue recommendations."
Alderman Sawyer said his response was influenced by fears for his own two children, including his teenage son.
“When I see this, I'm troubled because this young man's not much older than my son. So, of course, I'm worried about, you know, activities or choices our kids make and decisions they make sometimes, because they're kids. As Dr. Carl Bell says, ‘Kids are all gasoline, no brakes: sometimes,’” Ald. Sawyer said.
The city's policy now is to release within 60 days dash-cam and body-cam video of any officer-involved shooting, and if great bodily harm or death results from an officer's Taser use or while a suspect is in custody.
The police review authority has not said how long its investigation may take.