Videos, audio of Mount Greenwood police shooting released by IPRA

SHARE Videos, audio of Mount Greenwood police shooting released by IPRA

The scene before police shot Joshua Beal in Mt. Greenwood. | Screen shot from Witness video

Videos, police reports and 911 calls — including one from a woman hiding under a table at a baby shower as the fatal police shooting of Joshua Beal unfolded outside two months ago in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood — were released Wednesday by the Independent Police Review Authority.

“Are you in safe place ma’am?” a 911 operator asked.

“We’re inside the restaurant. There’s a baby shower going on. We’re all hiding on the floor,” she said. “I’m hiding under a table.”

Another female caller told a 911 operator: “Oh my God, I was sitting out front with the kids.”

In another recording, a caller who identifies himself as an off-duty officer said, “You need to send the police to 111th and Troy right now before someone gets shot.”

Another 911 caller can be heard screaming, “They just shot my brother! They just shot my brother! They just shot my brother!” She then can be heard screaming, “Josh! Josh! Josh! Josh . . . . Get away from my brother!”

The shooting happened just after 3 p.m. Nov. 5 on a busy stretch of road at 111th and Troy outside a Chicago Fire Department fire station.

The files released on IPRA’s website include three videos, 28 calls to 911, three police radio transmissions totaling several hours in length and eight police reports.

IPRA came down to the wire on its mandate to release videos of police shootings with in 60 days of the occurrence.

One of the videos shows a man performing CPR on Beal, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead.

Police shot Beal after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers on the the scene.

Video footage that surfaced just after the shooting appeared to show Beal pointing a gun at police.

IPRA spokesman Mia Sissac said at the time that investigators were trying to authenticate the images. Contacted Thursday morning, Sissac added no information and simply said the investigation was ongoing.

The shooting happened after Beal and his family left the burial of a relative who had been murdered in Indianapolis, family members said.

Police said the incident began when an off-duty Chicago firefighter began to argue with motorists in the funeral procession who were blocking a fire lane. Police said the argument became “verbal and physical.”

Beal’s family members have said the incident began when an off-duty police officer tried to run one of their relatives off the road.

Video shows the incident led to a heated melee in the middle of 111th — with police, firefighters and pedestrians scattered amid the traffic.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said an off-duty police officer was in a barbershop and saw the fight. He went into the street and identified himself as a cop.

That’s when a uniformed sergeant driving to work at the nearby Morgan Park police station stopped and got out of his vehicle. The sergeant saw a man holding a gun and also announced he was a police officer, police said.

Both the off-duty officer and the sergeant drew their weapons. Beal was shot when he refused to drop his gun, police said. Both officers fired, according to police reports just released by IPRA.

Eighteen shots were fired in total by the two policemen, who stood 10 to 15 feet from Beal, according to police reports released Thursday.

The sergeant fired seven shots. The officer fired 11 shots. Both indicated in reports that they opened fired and Beal did not.

Beal suffered six gunshot wounds and two graze wounds, according to a police report that cites autopsy results.

Over the course of the sergeant’s 15-year career, 24 complaints have been filed against him, none of which was sustained by the police department, records show.

The sergeant was one of six officers accused in a lawsuit of using a Taser on a man, pulling him from his car, yelling racial epithets at him and holding a gun to his head before falsely arresting him on drug charges in 2012. City attorneys settled the case for $55,000.

On a positive note, the sergeant received an honorable mention in a police award ceremony in 2015 attended by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. A police spokesman could not immediately provide details.

The other police officer who shot at Beal —  a 10-year veteran — had 26 complaints lodged against him. None was sustained.

That officer was sued by a woman after the officer slammed into her car during a high-speed pursuit while driving an unmarked squad car without his lights or siren activated. The officer was accused of recklessly pursuing a person who was suspected in an attempted theft and wasn’t violent. City attorneys settled the case for $600,000 in 2014.

The Sun-Times is not naming the officer or the sergeant because they’ve yet to be charged or disciplined for any wrongdoing in Beal’s death.

Guglielmi did not immediately know Thursday morning whether the officers who drew their guns are on desk duty or active patrol.

Beal’s brother, Michael Beal, 28, was arrested at the scene and charged with aggravated battery of a police officer and attempting to disarm a police officer. His next court date is Jan. 25.

The shooting set off a series of racially charged protests and counter protests in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood — where many police officers live — between folks who supported law enforcement and small groups of demonstrators who called for police accountability.

Contributing: Ashlee Rezin, Luke Wilusz

The Latest
Two of the state’s best seniors and best teams clashed in the finale of the Chicago Elite Classic on Saturday at Credit Union One Arena.
Patrick Kane tallied three points (and reached another milestone), Petr Mrazek left with an injury and tensions with Rangers captain Jacob Trouba boiled over in the Hawks’ 5-2 victory.
Their fates are in the hands of a 16-member electorate that includes seven Hall of Fame players, including Ryne Sandberg and Frank Thomas.
Angelo Ciaravino scored 26 points and DeAndre Craig 20 to lead the Caravan to a 72-48 victory at Credit Union 1 Arena.