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Fatal Shooting of Dexter Reed, Jr., by Chicago Police Is Being Investigated

Chicago police officers killed a 26-year-old man during a traffic stop last month, firing about 96 shots after shooting first and wounding an officer, according to the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

The office on Tuesday released body camera videos and other documents related to the fatal shooting of the man, Dexter Reed, Jr., as it continues to investigate the officers’ use of deadly force.

According to Andrea Kersten, the office’s chief administrator, five plainclothes officers assigned to a tactical unit and traveling in an unmarked vehicle arrested Mr. Reed around 6 p.m. on March 21. Ms Kersten said the “alleged reason” for the stop was that Mr Reed was not wearing a seat belt.

After arresting Mr. Reed, the officers surrounded his vehicle and began giving him verbal commands, Ms. Kersten said. When Mr. Reed did not comply, the officers pointed their guns at him while continuing to shout orders, she said. Less than a minute later, “an exchange of gunfire took place, leaving Mr. Reed dead and a police officer shot in the forearm,” she said.

“Preliminary information and available evidence appears to confirm that Mr. Reed fired first, striking an officer,” Ms. Kersten said at a news conference Tuesday. “The same information also confirms that four different officers returned fire approximately 96 times at Mr. Reed, including after he exited his vehicle and while he was lying on the ground.”

The officers fired within 41 seconds, the office said. Mr. Reed was transported to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A firearm was found in the front passenger seat of his vehicle, the police station said.

In a letter to Superintendent Larry Snelling of the Chicago Police Department dated April 1, Ms. Kersten said “the available evidence calls into question” whether Mr. Reed was actually arrested for not wearing a seat belt. .

“Specifically, COPA does not know how the officers were able to notice this seat belt violation,” given their location and the “dark tints” on the windows of Mr. Reed’s vehicle, she said. writing.

Ms. Kersten said the evidence also indicated that the four officers fired after Mr. Reed got out of his vehicle without his weapon. She said the 96 shootings raised “serious questions about the proportionality of their use of deadly force.”

One police officer in particular, she said, fired at least 50 times, including three shots while Mr. Reed lay motionless on the ground. According to her, the shots which lasted more than 40 seconds gave three of the four police officers time to reload.

“This gave the officers ample opportunity to reassess the situation, but they continued to use deadly force,” Ms. Kersten wrote to Superintendent Snelling. “Based on all of the available evidence, COPA has serious concerns about officers’ ability to assess what is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate use of deadly force.

The Chicago Police Department said four officers were assigned to administrative duties for 30 days, as is the case with all police shootings.

“We cannot make a decision on this shooting until all the facts are known and this investigation is complete,” the department said in a statement.

Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney, said her office is just beginning to review the evidence to determine whether criminal charges would be warranted.

Body cameras and surveillance video show officers in an SUV with flashing blue lights stopping Mr. Reed’s vehicle. The videos show officers surrounding Mr. Reed’s vehicle and ordering him to roll down his window.

After lowering the window, he raises it halfway. An officer attempts to open the driver’s side door by shaking the handle and orders Mr. Reed to unlock and open the door, while this officer and others draw their weapons.

After several shots were fired and officers were seen reloading, Mr. Reed can be seen lying on the ground behind his vehicle. The video shows the injured officer, who was near the passenger side of Mr. Reed’s vehicle, backing away when the shots ring out.

“Shots were fired,” the officer said. “I’m dejected. I am dejected.

Andrew M. Stroth, an attorney for the Reed family, said the family is asking Chicago police to disband the tactical units that he said were “terrorizing” residents. He said he was also seeking criminal charges against some of the officers.

He called the initial traffic stop unconstitutional.

“This family doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Mr. Stroth said, adding, “How many more young black and brown men have to die before this city changes?”

Mr. Reed helped lead his high school basketball team to a regional championship and was a student-athlete in college, where he earned an associate’s degree, Mr. Stroth said. He hoped to become a broadcaster.

“We just want answers,” Porscha Banks, Mr. Reed’s sister, said at a news conference, adding: “He was a son. He was a brother. He was an uncle. He had relatives. He was someone very important.

News Source : www.nytimes.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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