Fiancee of man fatally shot by police in Mount Greenwood suing CPD
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
The fiancee of a 25-year-old man fatally shot by Chicago Police last year in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood has filed a lawsuit against the police department and two officers involved in the shooting.
Joshua Beal was shot on Nov. 5, 2016, during a traffic dispute at 111th and Troy streets near a Chicago Fire Department fire station, authorities said.
The suit, filed by Ashley Phifer as Beal’s next of kin, and on behalf of herself and their two children, disputes the events leading up to the shooting and seeks more than $100,000 in damages.
Just before the shooting, Beal and family members left a funeral and were on their way to a hospital to visit a relative, according to the suit. Beal’s family members told the Chicago Sun-Times last year that the argument began when an off-duty officer tried to run one of their relatives off the road.
Police said an argument grew physical when an off-duty Chicago firefighter got into a confrontation with motorists in a funeral procession who were blocking a fire lane.
During the argument, an off-duty police officer who was nearby saw the fight and went into the street and identified himself as a police officer, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said after the shooting. A police sergeant in uniform who was driving to work also stopped, got out of his vehicle and announced he was a police officer when he saw a man with a gun.
The lawsuit disputes that narrative and says Beal was a legal gun owner with a FOID card who was in fear for his life and for the lives of others.
According to the suit, the off-duty officer, who was in civilian clothes, pointed his gun “at many African American individuals” and “shouted obscenities,” at them.
The off-duty officer involved in the argument did announce he was a police officer, “but it was a short and brief comment,” the suit said. Further, there was no way to know whether the man was a police officer, as he was in civilian clothes and had no badge. The suit points to “multiple individuals” who called 911 and reported a man pointing a gun at civilians.
Beal removed his gun from his vehicle because he “was reasonably in fear of his life” as a white man pointed a gun at multiple African-American citizens and yelled in a threatening manner.
Police said the two officers fired a total of 18 times at Beal when he refused to drop his gun. Beal did not fire his weapon.
Video that surfaced after the shooting appeared to show Beal pointing a gun at the officers.
The suit claims Beal was shot multiple times after he put his gun away.
The actions of the officers “created a chain of events which gave rise to an excessive and unreasonable use of force” that resulted in Beal’s wrongful death, according to the suit. Phifer was a passenger in Beal’s vehicle when he was shot, which caused her to suffer extreme emotional trauma.
The shooting also set off a series of racially charged protests and counter-protests in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood.