This shooting starts at Video Mark 15:38
(Tribune) Two police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of an African American man in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood that sparked days of protests and unrest after a year of upheaval surrounding the release of video of Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability found the use of deadly force in the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Joshua Beal by Sgt. Thomas Derouin and Officer Joseph Treacy was “within department policy,” according to a recently released report.
“All 18 shots fired by Officer and Sergeant occurred within a very brief timeframe, and the last eight or nine shots were fired within an even briefer period of time,” according to the report. Even if Beal was no longer a threat, there would not have been enough time “to perceive and process that the threat had dissipated,” the report said.
COPA found a “reasonable officer” in Treacy’s position “would have believed the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another” given that Beal pointed a gun at the officer and others. In addition, Derouin was found to have fired his last round as Beal pointed a weapon at him, acting in accordance with department policy.
COPA issued a statement Tuesday night about the “extensive, exhaustive and thorough investigation.”[Most read] A tale of lost love, mistaken identity, courageous single parenting — and bald eagles »
“COPA recognizes the racially charged and tense nature surrounding the tragic events,” the statement said. “Video evidence captured Officer Treacy announcing he was a police officer after a Chicago Fire Department member was being beaten by several members of the group. Officer Treacy initially responded lowering and raising his weapon consistent with the advancement and de-escalation of the crowd. Video evidence does also display a raised weapon in the hand of Joshua Beal prior to the officers discharging their firearms.”
The shooting took place about 3 p.m. Nov. 5, 2016, at 111th and Troy streets in the Far Southwest Side neighborhood, a largely white enclave home to many police and firefighters.
Minutes before firing gunshots, an off-duty Chicago police officer called 911 and gave a dire warning about an escalating road-rage incident. Soon after, Treacy and Derouin — both white — fired shots and killed Beal after he grabbed a gun from a car and tried to fire on them, according to authorities’ account of the shooting.
Beal and several family members were driving down 111th after a funeral for a relative who had been killed in Indianapolis, where Beal resided. According to police, their cars had been weaving in and out of traffic before stopping in a fire lane. An off-duty police officer told the mourners to move, leading to an argument and confrontation as an officer was assaulted, authorities said. Beal went to a black Dodge Charger, grabbed a gun and pointed it at one of the officers, according to police. Beal pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t go off, authorities said, and the officers shot him.
Beal suffered eight gunshot wounds — to the abdomen, right shoulder, upper right chest, right groin, back of his left thigh and the lower back, along with graze wounds to the right forearm and the top of his head.
Neither officer was involved in a shooting between 2010 and 2015, according to a database of police shootings maintained by the Tribune.
In a separate case, Treacy is cooperating with investigators and is expected to testify against two indicted Chicago gang cops, according to a Monday court filing.
Beal’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in July 2017, claiming the officers used excessive force and their actions were “severe and outrageous.”
According to the lawsuit, Treacy exited his vehicle and “aggressively” drew a weapon, and “pointed it at many African American individuals (who) were unarmed.” The suit said the officer was “not in reasonable fear of his life,” and was yelling and screaming obscenities, leading Beal to pull out his gun because he feared for his life.
Beal put the weapon away, the lawsuit claimed, but Treacy and another officer fatally shot him. Police have said Beal didn’t put the gun down.
After the shooting, dueling protests between supporters of the police, largely white, and those decrying the shooting, mostly black, began. Uniformed cops surrounded a small group of mostly black activists as some police supporters shouted racial slurs and insults, the Tribune reported, and the crowd broke into chants supporting the police.
Article Org: chicagotribune.com