Chicago Police Brace for “Civil Unrest” After Releasing Video of Black Man Shot in Back

Paul O’Neal, 18, was killed July 28 following a chase in the city’s South Shore neighborhood.

A screenshot of Chicago Police dashcam footage in the aftermath of the Paul O'Neal shootingIndependent Police Review Authority

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


The Chicago Police Department released video footage Friday morning of the death of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal, who was fatally shot in the back by police during a chase on July 28. In a nationwide conference call and bulletin, the police department warned of “civil unrest” following the video’s release. 

The recording shows O’Neal running a stop sign in a stolen Jaguar before hitting a police cruiser. Officers chase O’Neal, who is unarmed, through a yard in the city’s South Shore neighborhood while shots are fired. Officers can then be heard swearing at O’Neal, face down with a bloodied shirt, while handcuffing his limp hands.

The officer who fatally shot O’Neal was in the cruiser that was hit. His body camera didn’t record when he opened fire; police investigators are looking into whether it was turned on.

Sharon Fairley, head of Chicago’s police oversight board, called the video “shocking and disturbing.” The board is in the process of investigating the incident, but three officers were stripped of their policing powers after a preliminary investigation found that they had violated department policy. Fairley says the video was released because it didn’t jeopardize the investigation.

The O’Neal family has filed a lawsuit against the officers, alleging that they fired “without lawful justification or excuse.”

The Independent Police Review Authority released nine videos of the incident, including the one below.

Warning: This video features graphic content.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate