Two Chicago police officers are facing dismissal after they fired on a stolen Jaguar being driven by an unarmed teen who was then killed by a third officer.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson found that Officers Michael Coughlin Jr. and his partner that day, Jose Torres violated department rules when they fired on the Jaguar being driven by 18-year-old Paul O’Neal in July of 2016.
The case now goes to the Chicago Police Board which will determine which rules have been violated and if the officers should lose their jobs, according to the Chicago Tribune.
While Torres and Coughlin’s shots did not strike O’Neal, when the teen ditched the car and started running through backyards in the South Shore neighborhood, Officer Jose Diaz believed he was armed and fired at him.
The initial disciplinary recommendation to dismiss Coughlin and Torres came from the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) last fall before the agency was replaced by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
The Police Review Authority had concluded that shots fired by the two officers at the vehicle led Officer Diaz to believe O’Neal was armed and had shot at police.
The police department generally prohibits officers firing on a moving vehicle if it is the only ‘weapon’ involved in the crime. The disciplinary charges brought against the officers argue that by firing on the moving vehicle they put the lives of O’Neal, his passengers, officers and others in danger as the vehicle could have lost complete control.
After the shooting, Coughlin could be heard on police body camera cursing and complaining he would be put on 30 day desk duty as O’Neal lay wounded ‘and required immediate medical attention,’ according to the 64 page report on the officers’ conduct, obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
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Source: Christianity Today