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Watchdog Group Releases Hundreds of Videos of Chicago Police Officer-Involved Shootings


The Independent Police Review Authority reminded viewers that no video should be taken as proof of an officer's guilt or innocence.

Screenshot from a released IPRA Chicago surveillance video.

Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority on Friday afternoon released hundreds of videos of officer-involved shootings, in an effort to promote transparency about the actions of the Chicago Police Department.

The video release, reported by the New York Times, includes officer-involved shootings and taser implementations that caused death or great bodily harm, as well as incidents of death or great bodily harm other than self-inflicted harm that occurred while suspects were in police custody.

The Independent Police Review Authority is acting on a policy recommendation from the Police Accountability Task Force that was adopted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in February 2016, which requires the City of Chicago to release relevant recordings and police reports to the public "no later than 60 days from the date of the incident."

But IPRA reminded viewers that no video should be taken as proof of an officer's guilt or innocence.

"Video and audio material is only one source of evidence reviewed and analyzed in the context of other materials obtained in the course of an investigation," IPRA wrote on its website. "The inclusion of an incident on this website does not suggest a determination has been made regarding any police officer’s conduct."

The New York Times pointed out that many of the videos, which were recorded by police dashboard cameras, surveillance cameras and bystanders’ cellphones, "were blurry or grainy and showed little." But some of the videos "contain stark images of the kind of violent — and sometimes deadly — encounters that critics of the Chicago Police Department say are all too common," the Times reported.

The video release also included a disclaimer urging viewer discretion: "Some of the content available on this website depicts incidents that are graphic in nature and/or contains strong language, which some viewers may find disturbing."

See the video, which might be disturbing, on Vimeo.

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