Two Chicago Cops Recommended For Firing In Fatal Shooting Of A Teen

Two Chicago police officers should be fired for shooting at a moving vehicle without justification during a chase that ended with the killing of an unarmed black teen in 2016, disciplinary officials ruled in a report obtained Friday by the Chicago Tribune.

Officers Michael Coughlin Jr. and Jose Torres endangered the public and the lives of their fellow officers when they shot at 18-year-old Paul O’Neal as hetried to flee police in a stolen Jaguar convertible on a residential street in the South Shore neighborhood, according to the report by the now-defunct Independent Police Review Authority.

The same report concluded that a third officer, Jose Diaz, who ultimately shot and killed O’Neal during an ensuing foot chase, was justified because he reasonably believed in the chaos that O’Neal had a gun and had already fired shots at the police. In fact, the only shots fired came from fellow officers.

It was recommended, however, that Diaz be suspended for six months for kicking O’Neal and yelling “Bitch ass mother------, f------ shoot at us!” while the teen lay mortally wounded in a backyard.

That same profanity-laced statement, which was captured on a police body camera, convinced investigators that Diaz “genuinely believed” at the time that O’Neal had fired at him, according to the report, obtained by the Tribune through an open records request.

A fourth officer, Mohammad Baker, was also recommended for a weeklong suspension for failing to activate his body camera.

None of the four officers could be reached for comment Friday.

The 62-page report was completed last September, shortly before IPRA was replaced by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.


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