Chicago Police Board votes to fire officer who fatally shot apparently unarmed man in 2018

The board voted unanimously in favor of firing Officer Sheldon Thrasher.

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Police say a 34-year-old man attacked a Chicago police officer July 13, 2022, near Grant Park.

Officer Sheldon Thrasher was found guilty of using deadly force without justification by the Chicago Police Board.

Sun-Times file

The Chicago Police Board on Thursday voted unanimously to fire an officer who shot and killed an apparently unarmed man during a 2018 foot chase on the South Side.

In a 7-0 vote, the board found Officer Sheldon Thrasher guilty of using deadly force without justification in the June 6, 2018, incident, when Thrasher fatally shot Maurice Granton Jr. in the back as he climbed a fence.

The chase began after officers monitoring a police POD camera allegedly observed Granton, 24, and others engage in “narcotics transactions” under the Green Line tracks at 47th Street and Prairie Avenue.

Thrasher’s use of force “was not necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm from an imminent threat posed to him or another person,” according to the dismissal recommendation Supt. David Brown submitted to the Chicago Police Board last August.

Police body-cam video of the shooting appeared to show Granton without a gun as he grabbed the fence with both hands, the Sun-Times previously reported.

As Granton laid on the ground bleeding, onlookers gathered and began yelling at police.

“You see your homie right there? You see your homie shot ... Get back, get back,” Thrasher allegedly told people in the crowd, according to police records.

Brown found that Thrasher violated police rules that prohibit “engaging in an unjustified verbal or physical altercation with any person” and “incompetency or inefficiency in the performance of duty” when he yelled back, the documents show.

The superintendent also said Thrasher “failed to activate his body worn camera in timely manner in that he waited until after he had discharged his weapon to do so,” the documents show.

Antonio Romanucci, a lawyer for the Granton family, has said he agreed with Brown’s recommendation.

Granton’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit a month after the shooting alleging Granton didn’t pose an imminent threat to police. In July, the City Council’s Finance Committee approved a $4.25 million settlement to the family.

Contributing: Madeline Kenney

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