Videos show 13-year-old raise his arms toward Chicago police officers before he’s shot during a chase on the West Side

The boy’s attorneys say the teen was unarmed and surrendering, but the officer says he mistook a cellphone in the boy’s hand for a handgun.

SHARE Videos show 13-year-old raise his arms toward Chicago police officers before he’s shot during a chase on the West Side
Video shows a 13-year-old shot by a Chicago police officer on May 18, 2022, during a chase at a West Side gas station.

Video shows a 13-year-old shot by a Chicago police officer on May 18, 2022, during a chase at a West Side gas station.

Screenshot from provided videos

Newly released videos appear to show a 13-year-old boy raise his arms and extend one toward Chicago police officers before one of them shoots him during a chase on the West Side in May.

The boy’s attorneys say the teen was unarmed and surrendering when the officer shot him in the back on May 18, paralyzing him from the waist down.

But the officer’s lawyer says he mistook a cellphone in the boy’s hand for a handgun and “had to make a split-second decision.”

The videos were released by the teen’s attorneys after they were given to his family by a civilian police oversight agency last week. The boy’s mother, Cierra Corbitt, has said she wanted the videos released to the public. She has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department.

Police say the boy was shot after bolting from a car that was wanted in a carjacking in Oak Park a day earlier. Squad cars and a police helicopter chased the car across town to the 800 block of North Cicero Avenue. The car stopped and the boy ran away, chased by officers.

Police body-camera and surveillance videos show the boy run into the lot of a Marathon gas station and raise his arms, then turn toward the officers. It’s unclear from the videos if there’s something in the boy’s hand.

After the boy is shot, an officer points at something on the ground near where the teen collapsed and says, “Cellphone, it’s his f------ cellphone.”

Several of the videos show a large cellphone lying on the ground next to the teen’s blood. Police said no gun was found on the boy and no shots were fired at officers.

A photo of an unnamed 13-year-old who was shot by a Chicago police officer on May 18, 2022.

A photo of an unnamed 13-year-old who was shot by a Chicago police officer on May 18, 2022.

Courtesy of Andrew M. Stroth

As officers searched the boy, one of the officers says, “Pull him away from these pumps,” and they pick him up and move him several feet away. Police Supt. David Brown has said officers were concerned the gas pumps may have been hit by the gunfire.

Missing from the footage of the shooting is any video from the body camera worn by the officer who fired at the teen. The boy’s attorneys said they were told the officer neglected to turn on his camera during the chase.

The officer was already under investigation for not turning on his body camera in another police shooting last year, according to records from the Chicago Office of Police Accountability. The officer had exchanged gunfire during a traffic stop in West Garfield Park but no one was hit. COPA says it is still investigating that case.

The May shooting occurred as police chased a Honda Accord that had been stolen two nights earlier after it was left running in the Loop, police said.

It was then used in a carjacking the following night in Oak Park, when someone in a black face mask stole a Honda CR-V left running with a 3-year-old inside.

merlin_106037095.jpg

Cierra Corbitt closes her eyes during a press conference in May outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in the Illinois Medical District, where attorneys representing Corbitt announced they were filing a lawsuit against the City of Chicago and Chicago police.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The boy’s mother grabbed the SUV and was dragged to the ground, breaking her collarbone. The 3-year-old was found unharmed about 15 minutes later in the SUV, which was abandoned blocks away.

The carjacker was seen getting into the Honda Accord, which police said set off automatic license plate readers in Chicago the next day and came under surveillance of a police helicopter.

Police spent several hours that evening attempting to stop the car across the West Side, according to lawyer Tim Grace, who represents the officer who shot the 13-year-old.

A few hours before the shooting, the Honda drove straight toward the car carrying the officer and his partner, and they had to swerve to avoid a head-on collision, Grace said.

When the Honda stopped and the teen jumped out, the officer noticed an object in the boy’s hand and “reasonably” believed it was a firearm, Grace said.

Grace noted that another officer in the videos is heard yelling, “Drop the gun, drop the gun,” before the officer opened fire.

“Police officers are required to make split-second decisions and the law not only understands that but allows for it,” Grace said. “This discharge, while tragic, was within policy.”

The boy’s attorneys contend he was not holding any object, and that the video shows a cellphone falling out of the boy’s pocket after he’s shot.

“You see the cellphone come out of his sweatshirt when he’s shot,” one of the boy’s attorneys, Andrew M. Stroth, said. “You see a kid running away with no weapon.

“The video shows an unarmed 13-year-old shot in the back by a police officer,” he said. “He likes to play basketball, mountain bike. He’s fighting to be able to walk.”

Stroth blamed the police department’s foot-chase policy for allowing officers to engage with an unarmed child and use potentially deadly force.

“How many Black individuals need to be shot before the mayor and city of Chicago will enact and monitor a foot-pursuit policy that values the sanctity of life?” Stroth asked.

The Latest
Born in 1950 in Worcestershire, England, Evans studied law at Oxford University and worked as a journalist in the 1970s.
An estimated 1,000 families remain separated under the shameful policy of the previous administration. The Family Reunification Task Force must keep its foot on the gas.
The 59-year-old retired officer was hit in the arm and abdomen and was taken in good condition to Mount Sinai Medical Center, according to police.
Weigel Broadcasting announced Monday that it will take over production of the Illinois High School Association’s football and basketball state finals television broadcasts.
Coming on the heels of his sentencing in New York, the trial marks a new low for Kelly, whose popularity had remained undiminished even after he was indicted in 2002. That shifted sharply after the 2019 airing of the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.”