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Bodycam Shows Cop Shoot Male Domestic Violence Victim, Mistaking Him For Attacker

Chicago, IL – Chicago’s Civilian Officer of Police Accountability (COPA) released bodycam video on Thursday of the fatal officer-involved shooting of a domestic violence victim who was being attacked by a knife-wielding woman.

The incident occurred on the morning of Oct. 4 in the 7700-block of South Carpenter after Michael Craig sent his seven-year old son to have a neighbor call the police, WLS reported.

“The son who’s six years old,” the neighbor told 911. “He knocked on my door and says mom got a knife.”

Then Craig called 911 himself and said his wife was holding a knife to his neck, WBBM reported.

“My wife’s got a knife on me on the bed – right now, on my throat,” Craig told the 911 operator.

“She got the knife on my neck,” he continued. “I can’t move. If I move, she’s going to kill me.”

Craig told the dispatcher he was sending his seven-year-old son downstairs to open the door for the officers, WBBM reported.

“I’ve got the front door open. Tell the officers the door is open,” he said. “My kid is holding the door.”

Then Craig gave the child instructions, WBBM reported.

“Go downstairs so you can let the police in. Go! Do like I say! Go downstairs,” he told his son.

Bodycam video released by COPA on Nov. 4 showed the little boy was waiting outside on the front step of the building holding a cell phone when officers arrived on the scene.

The video showed an officer asked the seven year old what was going on.

“Somebody has a knife? Who has the knife?” an officer asked.

“My mama,” the boy replied in the video.

“What is she doing with the knife?” the officer asked the child. “Do you know what she’s doing with the knife?”

When the child did not reply, the officer asked him who had told him to call the police.

“My daddy,” the boy told the officer in the video.

The officers went into the building and had the boy point out his apartment from the bottom of the stairs before they directed him to go back outside and wait, bodycam showed.

Bodycam video showed the officers went up the stairs and could hear a commotion as they approached the apartment.

The video showed the officer in the lead drew his Taser as he approached the apartment door.

That was when the woman in the apartment began screaming hysterically.

The video showed the officer switched his Taser to his left hand and drew his service weapon.

Bodycam showed the officer could only see the male struggling with a person out of his view as the female continued screaming.

The male’s hands were around the corner, out of view with the female, and the officer could not see what was taking place.

“Stop, stop!” the officer yelled as he approached the pair.

And then he deployed his Taser and fired his pistol at Craig, the video showed.

Bodycam showed the officer talked as though Craig was the aggressor and the woman was the victim, and he grabbed the knife from the floor and then dragged the woman away from the bleeding man on the floor of the bathroom.

The video showed the officer repeatedly asked the woman if she was okay and mistakenly thought that she was bleeding.

But that was Craig’s blood from the stab wounds he had sustained at her hands before the officers arrived and shot him, WBBM reported.

“Treating her like the victim of domestic violence – when the real victim of domestic violence, and the victim of the Chicago Police Department, lay dying two feet away,” Michael Oppenheimer, an attorney for Craig’s family, said.

The woman refused to answer the officer when he asked her if she was okay, but it turned out that she wasn’t injured.

Craig, however, was bleeding to death, WBBM reported.

Bodycam video showed the officer did not rush to render aid to Craig.

“My dad laid there like a dog and died,” Craig’s son, Patrick Jenkins, told reporters.

Craig’s family has said that the Chicago Police Department needs to change the way it responds to domestic violence incidents, WLS reported.

“We are demanding that the Chicago Police Department take action against this police officer, and train their police officers how to handle mental illness and how to handle domestic violence,” Oppenheimer said.

COPA said when they released the bodycam video that the investigation was ongoing.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said its Law Enforcement Accountability Division was also investigating the officer-involved shooting, WLS reported.

Chicago police said the officer who shot Craig has been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated, as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, WBBM reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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