Police Brutality

Chicago: 2 Officer-Involved Shootings of Unarmed Men Mere Days Into the New Year

Last year Chicago saw its deadliest in two decades. There was total of  3,550 shooting incidents with more than 4,000 people shot, and 762 murders- averaging  out to more than two murders and almost 10 shootings every single day. With a mere 3 days into the New Year, Chicago is primed to be just as deadly in 2017. Authorities are already investigating two separate shootings of unarmed men by Chicago Police (as reported in the Chicago Tribune) adding to the already tense relations between civilians and law enforcement.

As reported by Breanna Edwards of the Root:

According to the report, just about two hours after midnight Jan. 1, an officer shot a man after a car chase on the Far South Side. The suspect apparently crashed his vehicle into a police car and was then shot after some sort of physical altercation with officers in the street, according to police. That individual is currently hospitalized and is said to be in serious condition, according to the Tribune.

The next morning, Monday, on the Northwest Side, an off-duty officer fatally shot an unarmed man with whom, according to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the officer had had a prior confrontation. The Chicago Police Department declined to identify the officer behind the shooting, saying only that he was 57 years old and assigned to transit detail. Police say that the officer shot the unarmed man “several times,” and he was pronounced dead at a medical center at 9:51 a.m.

“I have a lot more questions than I have answers at this time,” Johnson said. “I came out because I wanted to make sure the investigation was done properly.”

Both shootings are currently under investigation.

According to the Tribune, family identified the victim of Monday’s fatal shooting as 39-year-old Jose Nieves, a construction worker who had a second job as a security guard for a nightclub.

“He didn’t like drama,” Ada Chaparro, said, adding that Nieves was walking his dogs when he was shot. “This makes no sense at all.”

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that investigators were checking the area, including a high school across the street, for surveillance footage of the incident and possible witnesses. Guglielmi said that it is not yet clear what led to the confrontation between the two men.

“We know that these two had some type of history with each other. We’re trying to dig deeper into that,” Guglielmi said. “We know there was some type of encounter between them before, but it’s unclear if it was the type of encounter that required police assistance. That’s also something we’re looking into, but these two individuals at minimum were prior acquaintances and had some type of history, not necessarily a friendly history.”

The incident is being looked into by both the CPD and the Independent Police Review Authority.

Chicago doesn’t have a great track record with reprimanding officers who cross the line, and in both these cases justice seems improbable. Chicago is primed to have another deadly year, and it should not have to count unjust murders and shootings from their own boys in blue to add to the tally. Instead of making the city a safer place, it seems they are contributing to the rise in crime. If Chicago law enforcement and departments in other cities in the U.S want trust to be regained from the public, officers who commit these heinous crimes need to he held accountable.

(Article By Tasha Sharifa)

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