The Chicago Civilian Office Police Accountability (COPA) has finally released the video of the August 2017 shooting of Ricardo Hayes, an autistic teen from the city.
The teen had a history of leaving his caregiver’s home in the middle of the night and getting lost. In fact, the caregiver had specified to the police that mentally and intellectually disabled when she called to notify them about his departure from the home.
The video showed Sgt. Khalil Muhammad shooting then-18-year-old Ricardo Hayes around 5 a.m. In a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union attorney, Gabriel Hardy, stated multiple surveillance cameras recorded teen as he dawdled around his neighborhood. He was dressed in shorts, a short sleeve shirt, and tennis shoes and could, eventually, be seen skipping and singing to himself.
Muhammed pulled up beside him and stepped out of the vehicle. Muhammad, who was off-duty and was driving his own pick-up truck, saw Hayes and began chasing him. At one point, he drove his truck up on the sidewalk within a few feet of Hayes. The frightened boy ran away. That wasn’t the end of it. Muhammed jumped back in his truck and pursued the teen.
The busybody Muhammad pulled up and stopped roughly 20 feet from Hayes. Without exiting his vehicle, he opened fire with his service weapon, striking Hayes in his chest and arm. Hayes ran away again. Muhammad continued the pursuit in his truck, caught up with him, and ordered him to lie face down on the ground.
The officer did call 911 but what happened next was even more abominable than his purposeless pursuit of the teen. In what has become a seemingly prerequisite to become a Chicago police officer, Muhammad blatantly lied to the 911 dispatcher about what happened stating: “The guy pulled like he was about to pull a gun on me, walked up to the car, and I had to shoot.”
Muhammad later stated in his report on the incident that he shot Hayes because the teen posed an “imminent threat of battery.”
According to Hayes’ attorney, the teen has been so traumatized by the unjustified shooting that he’s been been repeatedly admitted to psychiatric facilities.
No criminal charges have been brought against the cop.