Chicago cops facing dismissal for fatally shooting armed man in 2018 instead get 10-day suspensions

Former Supt. David Brown argued that Terrell Eason, 33, didn’t pose an ‘imminent threat’ when officers opened fire. The police board Thursday found them not guilty of using unnecessary deadly force.

SHARE Chicago cops facing dismissal for fatally shooting armed man in 2018 instead get 10-day suspensions
Terrell Eason screenshot shooting

A screenshot of a video released by COPA of the police shooting of Terrell Eason on July 3, 2018.

Screenshot

Two Chicago Police Department officers who were accused of using unnecessary deadly force after fatally shooting an armed man in 2018 will keep their jobs after the Chicago Police Board voted Thursday to suspend them.

The board voted 8-0 to suspend Officers David Taylor and Larry Lanier for 10 days each, finding them not guilty of firing their weapons without justification in the July 3, 2018, shooting of Terrell Eason.

Former police Supt. David Brown had filed administrative charges against the officers on April 6, 2021, recommending they both be fired for violating the department’s rules of conduct when they shot and killed Eason. Brown argued that Eason, 33, didn’t pose an “imminent threat” when officers opened fire.

The video of the shooting shows an officer jumping over a fence into a backyard as Eason picks himself up off the grass with a gun in his right hand and starts to run from the officers before he’s shot.

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE AND MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ALL VIEWERS

Both officers opened fire at the scene in the 4700 block of West Fulton Street, according to reports released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability — Taylor fired eight rounds, and his partner, Lanier, fired twice.

According to the written ruling on the decision, the footage shows that Eason did not drop his weapon when he fell in the yard, and his finger was “within the trigger well” and not along the slide.

“As he runs, the gun’s muzzle moves back and forth in the officers’ direction. When he looks in Lanier’s direction, the officers fire,” the ruling said.

John Farrell, a use-of-force expert, told the board during hearings this year that the officers’ use of force “was objectively reasonable,” it said.

“Eason’s actions informed Respondent Taylor’s reasonable perception that Eason, desperate to escape, would use his gun to shoot Taylor, his partner, other officers in the immediate area, or civilians in the neighborhood,” the ruling stated.

The board found Taylor and Lanier guilty of failing to activate their body-worn cameras in a timely manner during the incident.

According to the Chicago police account given the night of the shooting, the two officers responded to a call of a person with a gun at about 8 p.m. and saw the man run toward the intersection of Wayman Street and Cicero Avenue. The officers pursued him.

Only Taylor’s body camera was activated, according to the reports, and the audio doesn’t kick in until 17 seconds into the video — after the shooting.

The video shows a breathless officer trying to find an address to relay to the ambulance. Eason appears glassy-eyed and motionless as blood seeps through his white T-shirt and the officers turn him onto his stomach to handcuff him.

The officer asks a colleague: “You shot too, right? He wasn’t putting it down ... Don’t talk.”

Hours after the shooting, police officials said an “armed confrontation” with Eason led to the shooting. The Old Town resident, shot multiple times, died of his wounds at Stroger Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Eason’s mother filed a wrongful-death lawsuit accusing the police of using excessive force and the city of allowing an unconstitutional, unwritten custom that leads to police shootings during foot pursuits.

Contributing: Mitchell Armentrout

The Latest
Williams has elevated expectations at every turn since the Bears drafted him, but he’s got sound perspective.
Six more Democratic members of Congress called on Biden to drop out, making the total now 28.
“I think this is going to put him in the White House,” says one man who describes himself as an Independent voter. “I just have a feeling that we will see Donald Trump in the White House.”
Last year was already record-breaking for data companies, but the trends from the first half of this year have shown a major jump in victims.
Eberflus cited the 2023 quarterback class’ preseason reps as the baseline for that decision.