Police in Chicago have yet again confirmed that the state has little to no regard for Black lives. Paul O’Neal a recent high school graduate, was shot and killed during a foot chase after he was fleeing police in an allegedly stolen vehicle. The young man was unarmed and greatly out numbered.
Ken Patterson of blackmattersus reports that according to the Chicago Tribune:
“O’Neal was shot on Thursday at about 7:30 p.m. by a Chicago police officer who suspected him of car theft. Reports say O’Neal crushed an alleged stolen car into two police cruisers and fled the scene. Dashboard camera footage disclosed that two officers shot at the Black teen while he was yet in the car.”
Patterson elaborates that “O’Neal sensing danger got out of the car and began to run for his life. A third police officer chased him and shot him in the back, killing him like a dog. Apparently, the officer aimed the shot to kill the Black teen. Paul O’Neal died of gunshots wounds at the back.”
Black blood is cheap in America; black lives, expendable.
Conveniently for the police , the body camera worn by the officer who made the kill shot was not running, and the moments leading up to the teen’s death were not captured. O’Neal’s death has since been declared a homicide by the Cook County Medical Examiner.
A preliminary investigation has since been initiated to look into the matter and also to ascertain why the officer’s body camera was turned off at the time of the shooting. They found an excuse for that. These officers were new with the cameras and apparently didn’t know how to use it correctly.
If these officers were as keen at knowing how to operate their cameras and using them as they are with using their firearms, we may have less unnecessary murders of Black Americans by police. The cameras are essential at playing their role as an impartial witness to these crimes.
Patterson seems pessimistic in that a conviction of homicide will stand as time again killer cops get off scot-free.
“According to CBS News, the family of O’Neal has filed a federal lawsuit against the officers who killed the high school graduate. The lawsuit accuses officers of battery, using excessive force and murder.”
In what instance is it ever right to kill over the alleged theft of a vehicle? Why was there a shot to kill, not a shot to disarm or immobilize? More importantly, O’neal was unarmed, and running AWAY, posing zero threat to lives of the officers. Why then was he killed?
“Paul O’Neal’s constitutional rights were violated,” attorney Michael Oppenheimer said during a press conference held close to the spot the Black teen was killed. He further added, “These police officers decided, for whatever reason, they were going to play judge, jury, and executioner.”
The rule of law seems not to apply to those who are made to uphold it. So long as there is no accountability for these officers when they commit such heinous crimes they will remain undeterred and blood shed will continue. We must continue to push back and report these injustices. No justice, no peace.