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Joshua Beal’s brother cleared of charges in Mount Greenwood race brawl: attorney

Michael Beal, brother of Joshua Beal, walks out of the Cook County Jail after posting bond in 2016. | Rummana Hussain/Sun-Times file photo

A host of felony charges filed against Michael Beal — the brother of a man fatally shot by a Chicago Police officer in Mount Greenwood in 2016 — were dropped Thursday, according to his attorney.

Beal and his brother, Joshua, were part of a racially charged brawl on West 111th Street in November 2016 that ended with Joshua Beal’s death.

After the melee, Michael Beal, 30, was charged with three counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer, attempted disarming of a police officer, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint.


Sara Garber, Beal’s attorney, said Thursday was “a good day” as those charges were dropped.

“They’re very grateful that at least this portion of the tragedy is behind them,” Garber said of the Beal family. “This has been a very trying experience for them on top of what happened to Joshua [Beal].”

A representative from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office did not immediately return messages Thursday.

A video appears to show Joshua Beal pointing a handgun toward police at 111th and Troy in November 2016. Police shot him shortly thereafter. | Video screen shot
A video appears to show Joshua Beal pointing a handgun toward police at 111th and Troy in November 2016. Police shot him shortly thereafter. | Video screen shot

Joshua Beal, 25, of Indianapolis, had been in a funeral procession in the predominantly white neighborhood on the Far Southwest Side. He was shot by Officer Joseph Treacy and Sgt. Thomas Derouin — both off-duty — after pointing a 9mm gun at them during the melee on 111th Street, the police department has said.

According to police reports previously obtained by the Sun-Times, the fight that preceded the shooting happened outside Joseph’s Restaurant & Bar in the 3100 block of West 111th Street. The restaurant was open and was hosting a baby shower.

A woman taking a smoking break from her bartender’s job said she heard a white driver shout the N-word to African-Americans in the funeral procession. That prompted them to stop, and she said she saw a black man then punch the unidentified white driver.

Treacy told detectives he was driving west on 111th Street when he saw two or three cars driving recklessly in and out of traffic near the entrance to Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery. He said the cars boxed him in near 111th and Troy.

Ryne Kinsella, a Chicago Fire Department EMT, told detectives he was attacked by African-Americans in the funeral procession after he ordered them to get back inside their vehicles and to stop blocking access to a nearby fire station. Kinsella suffered bruises and scratches to his face and a swollen nose, according to police records.

Cellphone video footage posted by COPA showed Kinsella — who committed suicide earlier this year — wiping blood from his nose.

It also showed Treacy pointing his gun at black people who were angrily shouting at him in the middle of 111th. Treacy can be heard yelling, “I’m the f—— police, get the f— back!” as Kinsella stands nearby.

A witness reported hearing a black woman scream at Treacy: “You think you are tough with that gun? If you’re going to pull it out, you better do something with it!” Another witness told detectives that African-Americans shouted racial epithets at Treacy.

After the shooting, Michael Beal, tackled Treacy and put him in a headlock, prosecutors previously said.

“F— you, you killed my brother. I’m going to kill you!” they said Michael Beal yelled as Treacy fought to control the gun that Joshua Beal had tried to fire.

The investigation into the shooting by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability is still ongoing.