Chicago, IL – Attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department on behalf of a 13-year-old unarmed carjacking suspect who was shot as he fled police.
The incident began just before 10:15 p.m. on May 18 when Chicago police spotted a gray 2008 Honda that was wanted in connection with a carjacking and kidnapping in Oak Park a day earlier, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Police said a man in a black face mask stole a car with a three year old inside it near Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. on May 17.
The car thief abandoned the stolen vehicle with the child still inside it about 15 minutes later in the 200-block of Madison Street, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Police said witnesses saw the carjacker flee the scene in a 2008 gray Honda.
A police helicopter followed the suspect vehicle as it headed south on Independence Boulevard and radio recordings showed the dispatcher repeatedly asked if any police vehicles on the ground were following the car, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Officers stopped the Honda in the 800-block of North Cicero in Austin.
Chicago police said a 13-year-old boy jumped out of the car’s passenger seat and ran, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Officers chased him.
The driver of the suspect vehicle fled the scene and later ditched the Honda in the 3800-block of West Monroe Street in East Garfield Park, WLS reported.
There appeared to be some confusion at the scene as a dispatcher reported “shots fired at the police” and then said “shots fired by the police,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
A cell phone video of the shooting was posted to Instagram and showed the 13 year old running into a gas station as police chased him.
In the video, it appeared the teen may have turned back toward the six officers pursuing him just before he was shot.
The video showed he fell to the ground by a gas pump.
Officers dragged him away from the gas pump for safety and began administering First Aid while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
The 13 year old remains in the hospital recovering from his wounds, WLS reported.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown confirmed that the department had bodycam of the shooting and said that the 13 year old turned to face officers before he was shot, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The Civilian Officer of Police Accountability (COPA), which is investigating the officer-involved shooting, has refused to release the bodycam, citing the fact a juvenile was involved.
But COPA initially said the same thing about the videos it ultimately released of the officer-involved fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29, 2001, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The lawsuit filed by the 13 year old identified only as “A.G.” on May 26 faulted the Chicago police for failing to adopt reforms to fix its “long sordid history of using excessive force.”
The lawsuit said A.G. had been shot in the back and sustained spinal cord and internal injuries that left him “permanently and catastrophically” injured, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“CPD’s shooting was wholly unjustified as A.G. was running away from the shooter, he was unarmed, and he posed no threat of harm to the officer who shot him or anyone in the vicinity,” the lawsuit read. “Multiple witnesses at the scene reported that A.G. was complying with the officers’ directive for him to put his hands up — and indeed his hands were up — when John Doe Officer shot him.”
The lawsuit noted that Chicago police had no foot pursuit policy before June of last year and that officers haven’t received much training on the newly-enacted order, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The officer who shot A.G. was running with his duty weapon in his hand, which is a violation of the department’s new foot pursuit policy, according to the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Chicago police have not publicly identified the officer who shot the 13 year old but have said that he was placed on administrative duty while the officer-involved shooting is investigated.