CPD trying to recover from community relations setback after release of O'Neal video

- In communities where trust of police has always been tenuous at best and has been particularly fractured since the Laquan McDonald shooting, the efforts by police to rebuild relations suffered a setback after the release of the body cam videos from the Paul O’Neal shooting.

“I think it hurts it majorly because what it shows us and what it says is that it's still happening. Is it still going on, that we haven't learned from the Laquan McDonald (incident),” said Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church.

The videos and information released on Friday revealed that O'Neal rammed a squad car with a stolen vehicle. He was then shot in the back as he ran from police by an officer whose body camera was for some reason not activated at the time.

Chicago Police are now trying to figure out how to recover from the community relations setback.

“The shooting and the videos that accompanies it really just kind of really energizes me to the work of building relationships with the community so that we can have a foundation that doesn't fall apart when bad stuff happens, because bad stuff is, unfortunately, going to happen,” said Robin Robinson, the Director of Community Affairs for the Chicago Police Department.

Police are hoping that the way this case was handled will help.

“I think what they've already seen is the implementation of a new attitude by the police department of transparency, of actually sharing with the community what we know, to the extent that we can. As opposed to circling the wagons and trying to justify everything,” Robinson said.

But for many, real progress is proving to be elusive.

“Yes, some steps have been taken,” said Fr. Pfleger. ”But to me it's like every time we take five steps forward, we are taking 10 back.”

He added that he believes that trust in police won’t be restored until officers who shoot and kill people go to jail.

Robinson said the O’Neal videos will be used for training and retraining officers.

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