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Body Camera Of Officer Who Killed Paul O'Neal Did Not Record Shooting

By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 1, 2016 8:38PM

Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images

A body camera worn by the officer believed to have fatally shot unarmed 18-year-old Paul O’Neal in the back was not working at the time of the shooting, police said on Monday.

Police recovered other footage of the incident, including dashcam video and footage from other body cameras, which were worn by two officers who fired into the vehicle driven by O’Neal but did not kill him. But the actual shooting of O’Neal was not captured on the available video, a spokesperson for the Independent Police Review Authority said on Monday, according to the Sun Times. The police oversight agency is tasked with investigating the shooting.

Communications Director Anthony Guglielmi said the department was not certain why the third officer’s body camera did not record. A fourth officer, who also responded to the scene but did not fire, was wearing an operational body camera.

The IPRA has a 60-day window in which it must release video of such shootings, but activists have called for the footage to be made public immediately. William Calloway, one of the instrumental voices in the release of the Laquan McDonald footage, was among those voices.

“I just basically want to request that Superintendent Johnson release this footage immediately. I have mutual acquaintances that have talked to Mr. O’Neal’s family. I think they’re just preparing for his funeral right now. That’s just what they’re focused on, but in this post-Laquan McDonald era, we all know that police accountability is a problem, Calloway said, according to CBS.

A petition for the release of the video was created over the weekend and disseminated through Black Lives Matter Chicago Youth and other activist networks.

O'Neal was fatally shot on Thursday near East 74th Street and South Merrill Avenue, in South Shore. Two police officers fired into a Jaguar—believed to be stolen—driven by O'Neal after he rammed a police vehicle and sideswiped a parked car, according to police. A third officer fired the shot that killed O'Neal. He had left the car and attempted to flee on foot, police said. O'Neal was unarmed. He had been shot in the back, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office determined.

Supt. Eddie Johnson said on Sunday that “departmental policies may have been violated” and that he was "left with more questions than answers" after a conducting a preliminary review over the weekend.