UPDATE: 3:23 p.m. EST — A video of the shooting of a black Chicago teenager by a white police officer was released Thursday afternoon, the first of three a federal judge said should be released Thursday, DNAinfo.com reported. The video shows two police officers chasing 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman before one officers fatally shoots the teen.
The graphic video was taken from above a street intersection on a blue light camera, so determining exactly when Chatman was shot is difficult. The camera pans from one road of the intersection to the other, and the footage is grainy.
The video shows an officer, identified as Lou Toth, chasing the teen, and according to a judge, the shots of his partner Kevin Fry could have very well hit Toth instead of Chatman.
A judge lifted a protective order early Thursday on a video showing a black teenager being fatally shot by a white Chicago police officer, making it likely the surveillance footage will be released later in the day, local media reported. Lawyers for the city of Chicago Wednesday dropped their opposition to the release of the footage showing the January 2013 death of Cedrick Chatman, who was 17 when he was killed.
Chatman was shot during a chase after a carjacking which he was suspected of committing. Officers thought the teenager had a gun in his hand, but the object was found to be a box for a cell phone, WLS-TV, Chicago, reported.
//breaking// Judge lifts protective order on surveillance video showing #CedrickChatman police shooting. Footage likely to be released today
— Jason Meisner (@jmetr22b) January 14, 2016
Judge Robert Gettleman chastised the city’s attorneys for their change in stance on whether the video should be released. "I'm very disturbed by the way this has happened," Gettleman said. "I think it's irresponsible."
Chicago leaders and the city’s police department have been embroiled in scandal in recent months, stemming partly from the October 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, an African-American teenager, by white Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Faced with mounting pressure, the city released the video of the shooting in November, leading to widespread protests across the city, the ousting of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and repeated calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down, CNN reported.
The video of McDonald’s shooting, however, was fairly clear, whereas both lawyers for the city and Chatman’s family have said the surveillance video isn’t of the best quality and the camera itself was far from the shooting, the Chicago Tribune reported. Emanuel said for months releasing the video could prejudice a jury in the suit filed by Chatman’s family and lead to an unfair trial.
Since the McDonald video was released, Emanuel has said he would increase transparency and has also created a task force to give the city recommendations on its policing policies, USA Today reported.