Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability released new body camera footage Thursday showing the fatal July shooting of Harith Augustus.
On July 14, police shot and killed 37-year-old Harith Augustus in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. Augustus' death triggered outrage and protests. During these protests, community activist William Calloway demanded that the police release bodycam footage from the incident.
“We don’t trust what CPD says. Show us. Don’t wait 60 days. Show the community now,” Calloway said at the time.
The following day, police released bodycam footage without audio that showed the moments immediately before and after the shooting.
What did the new footage show?
The new footage included audio of the incident, as well as footage from a nearby CCTV camera, and footage from a second bodycam.
In the video, police can be seen confronting Augustus as he walks down the street. He pulls out something that appears to be his wallet and holds it in his left hand. Police then reach for his arms and appear to try to contain him.
Augustus breaks free and runs into the street. At one point a gun can be seen holstered on his right hip. As Augustus runs he turns around to face the police and his right hand moves to his hip. It is not clear from the video if he was actually drawing his weapon. Moments later, Augustus collapses on the street. He was shot five times.
Only after this does the sound from the officer's body camera turn on. In the video, you can see the officer's hand move to the camera and apparently press a button to activate the microphone, immediately after he fired his weapon.
Because of the lack of audio early in the video, it's difficult to tell exactly why officers decided to detain Augustus or why he chose to run.
Augustus reportedly had a license to own his firearm but not to carry it publicly.
What did the officer do after the shooting?
Immediately after the shooting, some of the officers seem confused about what had happened. Two of them duck behind a police car. The officer who did the shooting hits his radio and says “shots fired. Shots fired at the police."
A little later on you can hear him swear "f***,” before saying “Sarge, that's me. Yeah. He pulled a gun on me.”
Later, you can hear him talking with one of the officers who had tried to apprehend Augustus before he ran.
“Why'd he have to pull a gun out on us?” he asked. Shortly afterwards he adds, "I had to. He was gonna shoot us."
“I know you did. He was gonna shoot us,” she agreed, trying to calm him down.
“He pulled a gun out on us,” the officer said again, pointing to where Augustus lay on the street.
“I know he did! I know he did. Look at me. You're OK,” the other officer replied.
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