WATCH: Two Chicago Cops Recommended For Firing in Fatal Shooting of Teen in 2016

Two Chicago police officers should be fired for shooting at a moving vehicle without justification during a chase that ended with the killing of an unarmed black teen in 2016, disciplinary officials ruled in a report obtained Friday by the Chicago Tribune.

Officers Michael Coughlin Jr. and Jose Torres endangered the public and the lives of their fellow officers when they shot at 18-year-old Paul O’Neal as he tried to flee police in a stolen Jaguar convertible on a residential street in the South Shore neighborhood, according to the report by the now-defunct Independent Police Review Authority.

The same report concluded that a third officer, Jose Diaz, who ultimately shot and killed O’Neal during an ensuing foot chase, was justified because he reasonably believed in the chaos that O’Neal had a gun and had already fired shots at the police. In fact, the only shots fired came from fellow officers.

It was recommended, however, that Diaz be suspended for six months for kicking O’Neal and yelling “Bitch ass mother——, f—— shoot at us!” while the teen lay mortally wounded in a backyard.

That same profanity-laced statement, which was captured on a police body camera, convinced investigators that Diaz “genuinely believed” at the time that O’Neal had fired at him, according to the report, obtained by the Tribune through an open records request.

A fourth officer, Mohammad Baker, was also recommended for a weeklong suspension for failing to activate his body camera.

None of the four officers could be reached for comment Friday.

The 62-page report was completed last September, shortly before IPRA was replaced by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

In November, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson concurred with the recommendation that Coughlin and Torres be fired, according to Frank Giancamilli, a spokesman for the Police Department. The Chicago Police Board will ultimately decide their fate, but as of Friday, no disciplinary charges had been lodged, according to Max Caproni, the board’s executive director.

Giancamilli had no information on what Johnson recommended for Diaz.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by O’Neal’s mother against the officers and the city is pending in U.S. District Court.

Reached by phone on Friday, attorney Michael Oppenheimer, who represents O’Neal’s family, praised the decision to push for the firings of Coughlin and Torres, calling the officers’ behavior “ridiculous at best and criminal at worst.”

“For them to open fire in the reckless manner of which they did put not only themselves in danger, fellow police officers, the people on the street,” said Oppenheimer, who had previously asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed to look into criminal charges against the officers involved.

He also said IPRA was far too lenient on Diaz.

The release of IPRA’s findings comes just three weeks after police oversight officials recommended that another officer be fired as a result of a different fatal police shooting in December 2015.

For full story visit: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-police-shooting-paul-oneal-20180112-story.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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