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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lawsuit: Hands up 13-year-old after being shot by Chicago police

CHICAGO ( Associated Press) – A 13-year-old boy who was shot in the back by a Chicago police officer was unarmed and raised his arms to surrender when he was shot, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday. According to him, this incident reflects a deeply flawed implementation of the department’s policy on stalking suspects.

The bullet severely damaged the black teenager’s spinal cord, possibly leaving him permanently paralyzed by the late May 18 shooting, says the filing in the US District Court of Chicago. Police have said that the boy, who was earlier in a car suspected of having been involved in a carjacking in a nearby suburb a day earlier, jumped out and started running. He has not been charged.

The excessive force trial says that the seventh grader, who was a passenger, was following orders from several officers running behind him through the grounds of a West Side gas station, shouting that he lay his hand.

The boy, referred to only by his initials in the trial, “was unarmed and did as he was instructed. But the officer nonetheless shot him – recklessly, mercilessly, and ruthlessly – right on his back.” through,” the filing alleges.

The shooting is the latest to cast a spotlight on the history of the Chicago Police Department’s aggressive stalking practices, which the city vowed to change. Advocates of the reform say that still-inadequate pursuit policy and poor training have often led officers to chase and shoot suspects who showed no threat. Police have said they are finalizing a permanent policy, but one still hasn’t been implemented.,

The officer’s name has not been released and the filing refers to him as a John Doe officer. they were freed from their police powers Last week. The lawsuit names Doe and the City of Chicago as defendants and seeks unspecified damages for, among other things, mental anguish and future caregiver expenses.

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The city’s law department said in a statement Thursday that it had not been officially given a complaint and would not comment further on the pending trial.

The filing stated that the boy was not in possession of any weapon and did not do anything to make the officer feel that he was armed or a danger to anyone. It further stated that the use of force was “not objectively justified” and “neither necessary nor proportionate.”

Superintendent of Police David Brown said last week that the fledgling teen turned to the officer and the officer opened fire. No weapons were found at the scene, the Civil Office of Police Accountability, the agency investigating the officer shootings, confirmed last week. The COPA said it had footage from the officer’s body-worn camera, but could not release it because the boy is a minor.

Thursday’s filing said the officer knew or should have known that safer alternatives to walking were available. Among the options, it says, was to establish a perimeter to deter the boy, then eventually arrest him. It added that at least one police helicopter was overhead and other officers and patrol vehicles were honking the boy.

The lawsuit says the department has been fairly slow to bring its search policy up to best practice standards, adding that the department had a “no pursuit policy” prior to June 2021.,

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A shocking report of 2017 The US Department of Justice, which accused the Chicago Police Department of “tolerating racially discriminatory conduct” by officers, also singled out its search practices for sharp criticism.

The report stated, “We found that officers deftly engage in unwarranted and unnecessarily foot chases, and that those foot chases often end with officers inappropriately shooting someone – including unarmed persons are also involved,” the report said.

The report led to a federal consent decree., a court overhauled plan to overhaul the department, amid a long list of requirements, demanded that a fully upgraded police chase policy be implemented by autumn of last year, according to the lawsuit. But the suit said the city missed the deadline.

“The (department) dragged its feet in updating that policy, after implementing an inadequate temporary foot stalking policy,” the filing said. “Not only did it miss the September 2021 deadline imposed by the consent decree, but eight months later, the policy is still not in place.”

City officials responsible for implementing the reforms have previously denied that it dragged its feet or defied deadlines.

The filing argues that last week’s shooting would not have happened if a good search policy had been in place.

“The deeply rooted systemic problems that led to the entry of the consent decree – implicit bias and failures in training, supervision and accountability – still exist today,” the lawsuit states. It added that the 13-year-old is “the latest victim of CPD’s systemic failures.”

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