COPA releases video of police shootout during downtown looting in August

Police were “engaging persons involved in looting” Aug. 10 when people in two separate vehicles started firing at them in the first block of East Lake Street, officials said.

SHARE COPA releases video of police shootout during downtown looting in August

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released videos Tuesday of police exchanging gunfire with downtown looters during a night of civil unrest in August following the police-shooting of a man in Englewood.

The bulk of the videos come from surveillance cameras belonging to nearby businesses. The officers involved in the shootout were “part of the Community Safety Team and had not been issued body-worn cameras at the time of the incident,” COPA spokesman Ephraim Eaddy said in a statement.

Police were “engaging persons involved in looting” Aug. 10 when people in two separate vehicles started firing at them in the first block of East Lake Street, according to Eaddy. The officers returned fire, though no one seems to have been struck, Eaddy said. One squad car was damaged by bullets.

The videos released by COPA do not make clear which vehicles allegedly fired the first shots. However, in one video, which COPA says was taken by a bystander, a smattering of gunshots can be heard as officers appear to run for cover.

Another video taken before the shooting appears to show a group of people fleeing from a 7-11, as one officer briefly pulls out a sidearm and occasionally pushes or swings at people running through a shattered glass panel next to the door. That same group can apparently be seen in other videos running down the street before the shots are fired.

The shooting happened hours after another shootout with police in Englewood, which left 20-year-old Latrell Allen wounded. The incident sparked widespread theft and property damage across downtown and the Near North Side, with two people shot during the chaos and over 100 more arrested.

COPA has not yet finished their investigation of the officers’ use of force, Eaddy said. Those findings will be posted to COPA’s website once the investigation is complete.

The full trove of videos and other materials associated with the incident can be found here.

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