Video shows 96 shots fired in deadly officer-involved shootout on Chicago's West Side

WARNING: Viewer discretion advised. The video depicts a graphic incident and contains strong language, which some viewers may find disturbing. 

CHICAGO - Video of an officer-involved shooting that left a man dead in Garfield Park last month was released by Chicago's police oversight agency Tuesday morning. 

Dexter Reed Jr., 26, was shot multiple times and died from his injuries after being taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital. 

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) released videos of the deadly shooting that happened on Thursday, March 21. 

Complete footage of the incident is available on COPA's website HERE

At 6 p.m. on the day of the incident, police attempted to pull over a vehicle near the intersection of North Avers Avenue and West Ferdinand Street.

COPA says five officers pulled Reed over for allegedly not wearing a seatbelt. Body camera video shows officers approaching Reed who was in a white SUV and telling him to roll down the car window. 

The officers involved were in an unmarked squad car and dressed in plain clothing.

When Reed did not comply with verbal commands, officers pointed their guns at him. COPA says video footage appears to confirm initial reports that Reed fired first, striking the officer and four officers returned fire.

COPA says officers returned fire 96 times over a 41-second period. Reed got out of his car and fell to the ground. 

A gun was recovered on the front passenger seat of Reed's vehicle, according to COPA. 

One officer was shot in the left wrist and taken to Stroger Hospital for treatment in good condition. The four other officers were taken to area hospitals for observation and were listed in good condition.

Bodycam video shows the officers tending to the wounded cop. One of the officers can be heard telling the others, "Don’t say anything, you hear me? Be quiet."

In response to the release of the videos, Mayor Brandon Johnson, COPA and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office held a news conference Tuesday morning.

"As mayor, and as a father raising a family – including two Black boys on the West Side – I am personally devastated to see another young, Black man lose his life during an interaction with police," Johnson said. "My heart breaks for the family of Dexter Reed. They are grieving the loss of a son, a brother and a nephew."

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx says the officers involved will be interviewed this week. 

"It weighs heavily on me that this event took place just blocks away from my own community. It is not lost on me that both Dexter Reed and this officer could have been my students," Johnson said.

Several organizations plan to protest at CPD's 11th district at 6 p.m.

COPA noted a city-owned camera is located at the intersection where this incident occurred. While a livestream was available, the camera had a defect that prevented the images from recording for playback.

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on routine administrative duties for 30 days, per department policy. Police Supt. Larry Snelling recommended the CPD relieve four officers of their police powers as the investigation remains ongoing. 

Reed's family called on Johnson and Snelling in the days after the shooting to show them any and all video of the incident. 

In a statement, they said, "…we still don't know how and why Dexter was shot by these plain-clothed police officers. What we do know, leaves us very troubled."

"We are reaching out to you, as the Mayor and Chief of Police for the City of Chicago, to ask for your help, as we try to come to terms with Dexter's tragic death at the hands (of) your police officers."

Reactions poured in following the release of the video. 

Senator Dick Durbin released the following statement: 

"The violence in this video is shocking.  My heart goes out to Dexter’s family and friends, who are grieving the loss of his young life.

Our law enforcement officers protect and serve their communities with honor and courage and face many risks, but any who fail to follow the high standards they have sworn to uphold must be held accountable.  As we continue to gather the facts surrounding this horrific incident, I am hopeful that a thorough investigation will be conducted in a fair and timely manner. 

These tragedies exacerbate and inflict trauma on the community, and we must continue to foster healing and support for neighbors, loved ones, and families exposed to this pain."  

Rev. Michael Pfleger issued a statement full of questions: 

"The video of police shooting of Dexter Reed is horrific to watch and it leaves me with many questions:

1. What was the traffic violation that Reed was stopped for and why was there such an excessive response for a seatbelt stop?  Since when do TAC Officers do traffic stops?

2. 5 TAC Officers jumping out and surrounding a car with guns drawn is excessive.  I would be scared out of my mind.  Also, I thought the "jump out boys" teams were being abandoned.

3. While it is being reported that Dexter shot first, the number of bullets in the car and casings on the ground was way over the top and seemingly excessive force, 96 shots.

4. When he got out of the car, he had no weapon in his hand and while Mr. Reed was lying on the ground shots continued to be fired at him.

5. We will never build trust if officers are not being held accountable.

This investigation must be thorough, transparent, and honest.  If laws and procedures were not followed, people must be held responsible.  We must all wait for the complete investigation and keep our eye on the process and transparency."

35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa extended his condolences to the family of Dexter Reed and the officer who was wounded in the line of duty. 

"I wholeheartedly agree with our mayor, state's attorney, and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) that transparency, accountability, and justice are needed now. I applaud COPA and Mayor Brandon Johnson for honoring the Reed family’s wishes to release the video and begin an investigation quickly. 

I also agree with our city's grassroots activists that this moment calls for systemic change. 

Pretextual traffic stops where no immediate danger is witnessed on the road do not justify deadly force."

Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, who was fired after the Laquan McDonald shooting, also reacted to the video. He said he believes the issues with Reed began before the March 21 shooting. McCarthy says he has heard reports that Reed had a prior pending gun arrest and was scheduled for a court date.

"Carrying a gun, being involved in that life, is the start of a tragedy right there," said McCarthy. "And then being in a confrontation and firing at police, that makes it an even bigger tragedy."