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Chicago police fired nearly 100 shots in 41 seconds during deadly traffic stop, video shows

A Chicago police officer fired nearly 100 shots in 41 seconds during a traffic stop, killing one man and injuring another officer, according to graphic video footage released Tuesday by police watchdogs.

Last month, five officers from a tactical unit in an unmarked police vehicle surrounded an SUV driven by Dexter Reed for not wearing a seatbelt. The video shows the 26-year-old black man briefly lowering his window, then raising it and refusing to exit the vehicle as more officers arrive, shouting commands and raising their weapons. .

The Office of Civilian Police Accountability said there was preliminary evidence that Reed fired first, wounding an officer in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city’s West Side. Four police officers then returned fire, firing 96 shots.

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COPA released body-worn camera footage, 911 calls and police reports, saying the gunshots continued even after “Reed exited the vehicle and fell to the ground.”

The video released provides a more complete view than what police initially provided last month.

Superintendent Larry Snelling previously said the March 21 shooting began with a traffic stop and was a “gunfight.”

Dexter Reed (center), his mother Nicole Banks, and his sister Porsha Banks (photographed in 2019). Reed was shot and killed by Chicago police on March 21, 2024, during a traffic stop. (Portia Bank via AP)

Family members are questioning authorities’ explanation for the shooting and want answers as to why Reed was pulled over. Family attorney Andrew M. Stross said Reed’s mother, sister, uncle and father watched the video Tuesday and were emotionally distraught. He said the young man was remembered as a talented high school basketball player who had ambitions of becoming a sportscaster.

“I can’t really explain the pain that I and my family are going through, but there are people out there who understand that he was a son, a brother, an uncle, and that he had loved ones. I just hope he’s there,” Reed’s sister, Porsha Banks, told reporters. “He was a very important person.”

Banks and other family members took part in a demonstration Tuesday night outside the 11th Precinct Police Station, where demonstrators demanded the officer who shot and killed Reed be fired. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, one person was hospitalized after clashes between some protesters and hecklers.

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Stross argued that police enforcement by plainclothes officers who did not identify themselves as police was unconstitutional. He said the family hopes for a speedy investigation and for the ministry to better adhere to its reform plan, which is supervised by the court.

“While nothing can bring Dexter back, we certainly need to try to prevent this from happening to other families,” he said.

On Tuesday, police spokesman Thomas Ahern said police were cooperating with the investigation.

“We cannot make any judgment regarding this shooting until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete,” he said.

The video shows multiple points of view, including that of the officer who was shot. However, no clear footage of Reed’s shooting exists. A gun was later recovered from the vehicle.

As tactical units drove to the scene, multiple officers yelled profane commands at Reed to first roll down the windows and then open the doors.

At that moment, a gunshot rang out. A man who called 911 to report the shooting described it as “shooting like we were in the Vietnam War.”

Reed got out of the car and fell to the ground, eventually lying on his stomach with his head near the rear wheel and only one shoe on. A trail of blood flows into a nearby gutter. Footage from the car shows dozens of bullet holes. The other shoe is just outside the driver’s door.

“Don’t move! Don’t move!” the officers shouted at Reed, who held up his bloody, fallen hand and looked for his gun, but couldn’t find it. They handcuff him as he remains face down and does not move.

A police officer said, “We don’t know where the gun is.” He then used a flashlight to search the vehicle and located the murder weapon in the passenger seat.

“He started shooting at us,” said another police officer.

More police officers and an ambulance then arrived at the scene.

“We were all firing,” one officer reiterated.

Mayor Brandon Johnson said Tuesday’s release was part of an effort to increase transparency and vowed a thorough investigation.

“Any attempt to withhold or delay information is a historical error,” he said at a press conference with COPA and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. “As a mayor and father of a family that includes two young black boys on Chicago’s West Side, I am personally shocked to see another young black man lose his life in an interaction with police. I am.”

He said the city does not condone shootings against police officers, noting that the officer, who is also black, suffered a wrist injury, but the situation could have been much worse. If the bullet had gone a few inches in a different direction, Johnson said, “we would be here talking about the death of another black man.”

The officers were placed on administrative leave for 30 days while COPA and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office investigate.

State Attorney Kim Foxx said her office will determine whether the officers’ use of force was justified and whether criminal charges are necessary.

“Let me assure you that our pursuit of justice will be relentless, fact-based, based on the evidence and the law,” she said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office classified Reed’s death as a homicide and reported that he died of “multiple” gunshot wounds.

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COPA was formed in 2016 after the city was forced to release dashcam footage of Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. This contradicted the police officer’s account that the boy had lunged at police with a knife. Those responsibilities include investigating police shootings.

Law enforcement officials have been relying on a consent order since 2019 that followed McDonald’s death after the U.S. Department of Justice found a long history of racial bias and excessive use of force.

The independent oversight team that oversees the department’s compliance has repeatedly found the department is behind deadlines and specific targets, and last year, as the next superintendent, Snelling was asked to “address challenges that are unduly slowing progress.” “I will.”

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