Harith Augustus, 37, was shot dead by police this past weekend on the South Side of Chicago, and disputes over what really happened have led many activists to question motives of the police and the mayor in how they handle the investigation.
Heated protests started Saturday, after body cam video was released (several protestors were arrested, and several officers were injured), and continued on Sunday and Monday near the scene of the killing. Chants of “No justice, no peace” rang out in the crowds.
An independent investigation has been launched but many activists and protestors say they don’t trust it.
The video shows, outside of the actual shooting, Augustus attempting to show his ID to officers, and at one point revealing a firearm tucked inside his pants.
Here’s the bodycam footage from the male officer who shot and killed Harith Augustus yesterday, released by Chicago Police about half an hour ago. More video is still being reviewed and will eventually be released, including a CPD POD camera that shows the shooting. pic.twitter.com/oMevwCQnIx
— Nader Issa (@NaderDIssa) July 15, 2018
“We’re not trying to hide anything…the video speaks for itself,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Black Lives Matter rep Maria Hernandez called for the identity of the officer to be released and that he be held accountable. The officer, who was in his probationary period, has reportedly been put on desk duty.
The Chicago Alliance Against Racism and Political Oppression protested alongside BLM calling for a Civilian Police Accountability Council chosen by the people to investigate instead of the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racism and Political Oppression said, “The police are not clean on these issues” and that “they have a dirty record.”
The Coalition for a New Chicago is planning an act of civil disobedience in a business district and is keeping the location secret so that no one can stop the effort. They’re calling on the mayor to resign.
“What I hate to see, everybody, is that if other incidents like this will occur is that we have another Laquan McDonald cover up because Mayor Emanuel wants to win office,” said Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston to the local ABC affiliate.
McDonald’s killing in 2014 was covered up by three officers who were indicted on felony charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. Johnson said that incident forever
changed the department and that he was committed to reforms to keep that from happening again.
COPD is not releasing any more video and say they have up to 60 days to do so. No audio has been released either.