The Chicago Police officer who shot and killed a man on the Southwest Side Sunday afternoon was not equipped with a body-worn camera, according to the preliminary investigation from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
The officer is a member of the department’s SWAT Team, who are not equipped with body-worn cameras, according to a statement from the agency known as COPA, which is charged with investigating police misconduct.
Departmental rules — and a federal consent decree — require Chicago Police officers to have and use the cameras as a guard against misconduct and false allegations.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday at an unrelated news conference that she did not know why the officer who shot the man on Sunday did not have a body-worn camera.
In August 2020, a Chicago Police officer who did not have a body-worn camera shot a 20-year-old man they said had a gun. That shooting touched off a wave of looting that swept the city.
After that shooting, which is still under investigation by COPA, Lightfoot told reporters it was “highly, highly problematic” that the officer did not have a camera and that “we can’t have people out on the street interfacing with the public without body cameras.”
Lightfoot said Monday she stood by those statements, without answering why officers without body-worn cameras have been deployed for nearly two years after she said that should not happen.
“We’ve significantly increased the purchase of those body-worn cameras, so we’ve got to make sure that everybody who is out there on the street and certainly interacting with the public has a body-worn camera,” Lightfoot said Monday.
The SWAT team officer shot the unidentified man on Sunday after officers were called at 1:15 p.m. to the 4200 block of West Ford City Drive in response to a domestic disturbance. They found a 48-year-old woman had been shot in the neck, officials said.
After officers confronted a man armed with a gun, the man barricaded himself inside a home and fired shots at police, officials said.
“Officers attempted negations and de-escalation techniques,” according to a statement from the Chicago Police Department. The man threatened the SWAT team officers with the gun and an officer shot him, according to the statement from COPA.
In addition to the woman who was shot, officers discovered a 78-year-old man, described as a hostage by the Chicago Police Department, had also been shot in the shoulder by the man shot and killed by the police, according to a statement from the Chicago Police Department.
No officers were injured.
“COPA can confirm body worn camera footage captures the initial interaction between the suspect and responding officers,” according to a statement from the agency. “However, members of SWAT are not equipped with body-worn cameras and therefore the fatal shooting is captured partially by a Chicago Police officer’s body worn camera in the vicinity.”
COPA’s investigation remains ongoing, officials said.
Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in December 2017 that all patrol officers had been equipped with body-worn cameras in the wake of the outcry over the 2014 police murder of Laquan McDonald.