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VIDEO: Bodycam Shows Armed Suspect Fatally Shot By Chicago Police During Foot Chase

Chicago, IL – Recently-released bodycam footage captured the moment when a suspect with a gun in his hand was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer during a foot chase in April (video below).

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) released the footage on May 3, after the suspect’s family sued the Chicago Police Department (CPD) over what they claimed was an “unprovoked and unwarranted” shooting, WTTW reported.

The family of 24-year-old Reginald “Lil Red” Clay alleged that police shot him repeatedly in the back, according to WFLD.

But the bodycam footage showed a different situation entirely.

The incident occurred at approximately 10 a.m. on April 15, as police were patrolling the area of West Flournoy Street in an effort to deescalate a gang conflict, WLS reported.

Clay’s family said he was just meeting up with friends before going to a funeral that was taking place that day.

Bodycam footage showed Clay walking away as two Chicago police officers pulled up and began approaching him and a group of other individuals.

Clay then began running, triggering a foot pursuit through an alley and into a backyard on Flournoy Street, WTTW reported.

The armed suspect ran through the yard and into a gangway, then hit a dead end and spun around, the video showed.

That’s when he started running towards the officer with a gun in his hand.

The officer fired his weapon, hitting Clay in his chest area, WTTW reported.

The officer immediately radioed for an ambulance, but the suspect ultimately succumbed to his wounds.

Police said in a report that Clay was shot once in his chest, armpit and sternum, and twice in his arm, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Clay’s father, Reginald Clay Sr., said police shouldn’t have been chasing his son in the first place, WTTW reported.

“No reason, no reason at all to chase him — none,” the elder Clay insisted.

He said his son ran away simply because “he was scared, he was terrified,” WFLD reported.

“We see on the news all the time police chase and kill us,” he added.

Clay’s family also alleged in the federal lawsuit that the officers violated the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) foot chase policy, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

COPA First Deputy Chief Administrator Ephraim Eaddy said the incident is still under review, WTTW reported.

“As part of this investigation, COPA will review the initial interaction, foot pursuit, body worn activation and subsequent use of deadly force as well as all other matters to determine if the officers’ actions were in accordance with Department policy and training,” Eaddy said.

Both officers involved in the fatal shooting have been placed on administrative leave for 30 days, as per protocol, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ed Farrell, a former deputy U.S. marshal in Chicago who is a law enforcement expert for WLS, said the officer-involved shooting wascompletely justified.

“When the officer rounds the corner, the most compelling evidence is the individual presents a weapon and brings it up as if he’s going to point it at the officer at that point,” Farrell said after watching the footage. “He’s an imminent threat to the officer. [The officer is] completely justified in using deadly force in that situation.”

Clay’s family said he was putting the gun down and that he was legally licensed to carry the weapon, WLS reported.

“My baby put that gun down and he surrendered,” Clay’s mother, Tara Henderson, told the news outlet.

But Farrell noted that this isn’t an argument about whether the suspect was carrying a gun legally or not.

“Whether you have concealed carry, or a FOID card, that just basically says you can possess it legally in the state of Illinois,” he told WLS. “At no point does it give you the authority to raise the weapon at an officer in a threatening manner, where the officer would perceive you using deadly force against them. They’re two separate things.”

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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