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Jury awards $1.2 million to family of Chicago man fatally shot by police in 2015

Surveillance video shows a police officer after shooting Alfontish Cockerham in the South Shore neighborhood in 2015. | Civilian Office of Police Accountability

A Cook County jury on Thursday awarded about $1.2 million to the family of a man fatally shot by a Chicago police officer as the man fled during a 2015 chase in the South Shore neighborhood.

After a weeklong trial wrapped up Wednesday, the jury ruled the shooting of Alfontish Cockerham was unjustified, according to the family’s attorneys.

At the time of the June 20, 2015, shooting, authorities said officers responding to a call of a person with a gun saw Cockerham with a weapon near 71st and Merrill.

Video courtesy of The Civilian Office of Police Accountability

Police claimed Cockerham pointed a gun at an officer during the ensuing foot chase, prompting the cop to open fire.

Police said they recovered a .45-caliber gun from Cockerham. The 23-year-old was charged with assaulting an officer before he died five days later.

Neighbors at the scene that night questioned the police narrative, and slightly blurred surveillance video later showed Cockerham running from the officer before being shot and falling to the ground. An autopsy found he was shot at least once from behind.

The officer who killed Cockerham, Anthony Babicz, remains on active duty, the department confirmed.

City Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey says the city was disappointed in the jury’s verdict and is evaluating its options.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is still investigating.

Contributing: Associated Press