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Video Shows Black Teen With Hands Up When Shot by Cop

by Eileen Grench

An unarmed 13-year-old Black boy had his hands raised in the air when he was gunned down by a Chicago Police Department officer in May, a new surveillance video obtained by The Daily Beast shows.

In the video, the teen—known only by his initials A.G.—ran off the sidewalk and into the light of a gas station parking lot with his hands raised in the air before turning around to his right.

It is then that the boy is shot by an officer and collapses to the cement in front of a gas pump.

After he was shot, the new video shows, two officers carried the teen to a different location by only two legs and a piece of clothing as his arm briefly dragged on the pavement—something Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown had previously claimed was to avoid harm from an explosion at the gas pump following the shooting.

But only moments after they had done so, a responding cop car careened into the gas station and crashed into the station’s sign, briefly drawing the attention of nearly all of the roughly 20 officers away from the teen.

A.G.—who ran after police tried to stop a car in which he was a passenger—has not been charged with any crime. No officers were fired on, and no weapon was recovered at the scene.

In May, videos released by the Instagram page Chicago Media Takeout and WGN Chicago stoked rising calls for transparency around the shooting. The video obtained by The Daily Beast appears to be a complete and higher quality version of the surveillance footage published on Chicago Media Takeout. The newly obtained video includes a clear view of A.G.’s hands when he was shot—as well as the moment that the boy was moved by officers—key details which were not clear in previous videos.

In a lawsuit filed by the family last month, the complaint charged that A.G. had complied with the officer’s instructions and that while A.G. survived, “he has been permanently and catastrophically injured.”

“CPD officers did not render immediate aide to A.G., but instead callously dragged him across the pavement and then turned their attention to an uninjured officer who crashed into a sign at the gas station while arriving on scene,” read the complaint.

The youth—who enjoyed playing basketball and riding his mountain bike before the shooting, according to his lawyer—was initially hospitalized in critical condition at Stroger Cook County Hospital.

The teen is in danger of never walking again after sustaining a major spinal injury and “at this point doesn’t have movement of his legs.”

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Chicago Police appear to lift the teen up by his sweater after shooting him.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Handout</div>

Chicago Police appear to lift the teen up by his sweater after shooting him.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Handout

He also sustained major wounds to his esophagus, lawyer Andrew M. Stroth told The Daily Beast, and a piece of the bullet is still lodged in the boy’s back.

A.G. is currently at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, a rehabilitation facility in Chicago, trying to regain his ability to walk.

“His wishes are to get healthy, his wishes are to walk, his wishes are to play basketball, his wishes are to ride his bike,” said Stroth.

“You got yet another Black young person shot in the back in a city that is under a federal consent decree, in a city that has not enacted a new foot pursuit policy that preserves and respects the sanctity of life.”

In a press conference 24 hours after the shooting, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown would not say whether the boy had his hands in the air.

He later told reporters that an officer discharged his weapon and shot A.G. once.

One witness told ABC7 that the teen had complied with the demands of officers.

“They said, ‘Put your hands up, put your hands up!’ The boy’s hands were up. There’s other people out there that seen it. I got it all on my phone—his hands were up. He didn’t have a gun. They shot him for no reason,” the eyewitness said.

The Chicago Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the video.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>A police car can been seen crashing into the gas station doing thousands of dollars worth of damage.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Handout</div>

A police car can been seen crashing into the gas station doing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Handout

When A.G. was shot, the incident became the latest in a series of teens being gunned down by Chicago cops.

Last year, another 13-year-old, Adam Toledo, was found to have been shot and killed while his hands were in the air. And in 2014, Laquan McDonald was killed after being shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke before multiple officers were implicated in a coverup.

Since Toledo’s death, also following a foot chase, the Chicago Police Department has not yet implemented a permanent foot pursuit policy—a cause of growing outrage amongst community members and advocates.

Police have alleged that A.G. was a passenger in a silver Honda Accord which they believe was involved in a carjacking the day prior. When he fled the vehicle, police pursued him to the gas station.

The driver, in both the Adam Toledo and A.G. incidents, got away.

‘It’s Devastating’: Chicago Residents Reeling After Footage Shows 13-Yr-Old Had His Hands Up as Cop Shot Him

Whether or not the unnamed officer had reason to shoot A.G. would be better weighed through the viewing of body-camera footage, as it would show the officer’s perspective, said policing expert Dr. Dennis Kenney, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

It “depends on whether or not a reasonable officer would perceive that he or she was at risk of either death or serious bodily harm,” he said.

The City’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability is currently investigating the case but declined comment.

According to the family lawyer, A.G.’s mother is demanding the release of every video that exists. The City of Chicago has denied the family’s public records requests for video due to the fact that A.G. is a minor.

“Why are they not releasing this video? The mom wants the video released,” said Stroth.

“If the city wants to be transparent then the city needs to release this video immediately.”


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