Chicago police have released video of a shootout with a carjacking suspect, in which one officer was injured. The swiftly released footage comes shortly after the controversial death of black teenager Paul O’Neal, also during a stolen car chase.
Dashboard camera footage, released Wednesday, shows the Tuesday evening pursuit of a stolen vehicle in the southern suburb of Roseland. At one point, the driver of the stolen SUV points a gun out of the window and fires at the police cruiser several times.
One of the pursuing officers was grazed by a bullet to the head, and can be heard yelling in the video.
“These police officers face this kind of thing every single day,” Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters at the police headquarters Wednesday. The suspect in the case is “the perfect example of what we’ve been saying. The same guys committing the same crimes over and over again,” Johnson said.”This guy doesn’t believe we’re serious. Law enforcement is being scrutinized all over the country for everything they do but they didn’t run away from this, they ran to it.”
The suspect, identified as Charles Lawson, 24, was out on parole after serving a sentence for a 2011 armed robbery, the police said. Lawson was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years, but was granted parole in April 2015, DNA Info reported, citing the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Chicago PD has reworked its policy on releasing police videos in the wake of months-long protests over the death of Laquan McDonald, an African-American teenager shot by a white police officer in October 2014. The video of McDonald’s death was released more than a year later, in November 2015, leading to murder charges for the officer involved, and the resignation of the police commissioner and the review authority chief.
The police handling of the car chase on Tuesday was also very different from the July 28 incident that ended in the death of Paul O’Neal. The 18-year-old African-American was shot and killed after crashing a stolen Jaguar into a police cruiser during a pursuit, and attempting to flee the scene.
Police video shows Lawson throwing the gun out the window before slowly exiting the car with his hands clearly visible. Half a dozen officers converge on the suspect and take him away in handcuffs.
Lawson was charged with four counts of attempted murder, possession of a stolen vehicle, hijacking, fleeing and eluding, and battery – all aggravated by use of a firearm, according to the Chicago PD.
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