Chicago Police Department release body camera footage of Saturday’s fatal police shooting of Harith Augustus
Officers approached Augustus after noticing a holster under his shirt
Augustus was shot several times as he tried to flee from officers
In a rare and unexpected move CPD released body cam footage on Sunday
On Saturday, 37-year-old Harith Augustus was pronounced dead at Jackson Park Hospital at 5:50 p.m following a fatal police shooting that occurred on the 7000 block of South Merrill Avenue in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.
In body cam footage released on Sunday, two officers are seen approaching Augustus as he is seen standing next to another officer. Augustus was stopped after officers say they noticed a gun holster under his shirt. One officer grabs Augustus’ wrist, as he tries to pull away. Once Augustus managed to pull away, the camera pauses on a frame of the video that shows the holster.
After breaking away from officers, Augustus makes it to the middle of the street before turning to face the officers. It appears at that point officers opened fire on Augustus.
In a press conference on Sunday, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated the incident began after foot patrol officers noticed a man “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person.”
He looked like he may have something on him. They go to question him, and at that point a confrontation ensues and he is shot.
Angry residents took to the streets in protest following the shooting. Guglielmi claimed that bottles and urine were thrown at officers. The civil disobedience continued for roughly five hours.
On Sunday, community activist William Calloway stated he had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for any body cams, dash cams, and security cameras that recorded Saturday’s shooting. Hours later, CPD—in an unexpected and rare response—released an email stating that at 2:40 pm Superintendent Eddie Johnson body cam footage of the fatal shooting.
Saturday’s shooting added to growing tension between Chicago residents and the CPD from the Jason Van Dyke trial. In October of 2014, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was fatally shot 16 times by Van Dyke. In June of last year, three more current and former officers were indicted in relation to the McDonald shooting.
Former Detective David March, and former Patrol Officer Joseph Walsh and Patrol Officer Thomas Gaffney were charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. Johnson released the following statement in regards to the McDonald indictments.
The shooting of Laquan McDonald forever changed the Chicago Police Department and I am committed to implementing policies and training to prevent an incident like this from happening again. We will also continue to implement meaningful reforms that build community trust, provide greater training and resources to our dedicated officers, and make Chicago safer.
Van Dyke pleaded not guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. Each shot fired corresponded with an aggravated battery charge.