Our Pledge To You

Crime

New bodycam video shows Chicago police shooting of Terrell Eason

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

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability on Thursday released body camera video showing officers fatally shooting an armed man running away from officers last month in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.

The video of the July 3 encounter shows an officer hurdling a fence into a backyard as 33-year-old Terrell Eason picks himself up off the grass with a gun in his right hand and starts to run before he’s shot.

RELATED: New video, audio of police shooting of Harith Augustus

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

Both officers opened fire at the scene in the 4700 block of West Fulton, according to reports released by COPA — Officer David Taylor fired eight rounds, and his partner Larry Lanier fired twice.

COPA released a video of the police shooting in July of Terrell Eason. | Screenshot

COPA released a video of the police shooting in July of Terrell Eason. | Screenshot

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.”

As the officer heads toward a squad car, others check to see if he’s OK: “I need a cigarette . . . Yeah, I’m good, I just need a light.”

COPA also released audio of the 911 call placed by a person reporting a man in an orange hat pulling up in a silver Buick with a gun. On the ensuing police radio transmissions of a brief foot chase, an officer yells “It’s in his pocket!” before reporting that shots had been fired by the police.

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

Officers respond to the shooting July 3 in the 4700 block of West Fulton. | Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

The officers, both 29, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. They were placed on desk duty for 30 days following the shooting, per CPD policy, and have since returned to regular duty, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
“COPA continues to investigate and we are cooperating with and supporting their efforts,” Guglielmi said. “They have not given a request to suspend these officers.”

RELATED: Family sues alleging excessive force in fatal police shooting

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

“I see a guy who is shot while running away, who is stumbling down through a yard and falls over and dies,” family attorney Gregory Kulis said after the video was made public Thursday. “He may have had a weapon, but as far as I’ve seen, not one agency ever alleged that he pointed or fired a weapon.”

A spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, declined to comment on the video.