News and Commentary

7 Things You Need To Know About The Paul O’Neal Shooting

On Friday, the police released footage of the July 28 shooting of Paul O’Neal in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Black Lives Matter activists have quickly mobilized because O’Neal, 18, was black and unarmed. Here are seven things you need to know about it.

1. The videos released don’t actually show O’Neal being shot. The police officer that fired the fatal shot did not have any footage from his body cam because it was not recording anything when the shooting occurred. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that this was due to the fact that “they had had those cameras maybe about a week…there’s going to be a learning curve.” However, many protesters are accusing the police department of a cover-up. But the nine body camera and car camera videos released do reveal a great portion of what occurred, and can be seen below, via Bearing Arms‘s Bob Owens.

2. O’Neal was suspected of stealing a car. A black Jaguar was allegedly stolen by O’Neal and an unidentified juvenile suspect.

3. The videos show that O’Neal attempted to use the car as a weapon against police officers. O’Neal drove the car into two police cars, and one of the officers appears to suffer a minor leg injury as a result.

One of the officers in the struck cars thought O’Neal or the other suspect may have been shooting, as he can be heard asking, “They shot at us, too, right?”

Other officers can be seen shooting at the car as O’Neal was using it as a weapon.

4. O’Neal crashed the car into a tree, and fled. This is what prompted the police to chase him “between brick houses and over wooden fences” that eventually ended with him being fatally shot.

5. An officer fatally shot O’Neal in the back. O’Neal led one of the officers behind a house, and the officer eventually shot him. The officer appears to be one of the officers who thought that O’Neal was armed.

“Get down! Hands behind your back! You shot at us, mother——!” can be heard.

O’Neal was cuffed, although at that point his arms were limp.

6. Three officers are being investigated for possibly breaking Chicago Police Department rules. According to the Associated Press, “Police Supt. Eddie Johnson stripped three officers of their police powers after officials said a preliminary determination concluded they had violated department policy in the July 28 shooting.”

The violated policy was firing at a moving vehicle, as the policy doesn’t allow police to fire “at a moving vehicle if it represents the only threat against officers,” according to The Los Angeles Times.

An investigation is being conducted to see if anything illegal occurred at the shooting.

7. The O’Neal family is filing a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department. “There is no question in my mind that criminal acts were committed,” the family attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, said. “What I saw was pretty cold-blooded.”

O’Neal’s sister, Briana Adams, also called the video “very disturbing.”

“I want everybody to know that Paul was loved by my mother, his family, me,” Adams said.