The cause of death of a Black teenager is under dispute in Chicago. The family of 15-year-old Steven Rosenthal is demanding the police release the video of the young man’s death. The family disagrees with police statements saying the teen committed suicide after he fled from cops on Friday (Aug. 17).
Rosenthal’s family believes Chicago PD killed the young man, saying there is no way that the teen would have shot himself in the head. “I need to see evidence, body cams. They need to release the video. My nephew would never commit suicide, ever,” said his aunt, Terinica Thomas, according to WBBM. “My 15-year-old nephew, Steven, was shot and killed by Chicago Police Department.”
Protesters had gathered Sunday to demand answers in Rosenthal’s death amid the dispute between the teen’s family and police.
A video that will shed light on exactly what happened to the teen in his last moments will be released and shown to the family first after legal hurdles are cleared, Chicago police said.
“Any time you have a juvenile involved in releasing video, it’s different. So we’ll look at everything, and when feasible and lawfully [we’ll release the video,”] Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Monday. “Certainly we would like the family to see it first.”
Rosenthal was stopped and questioned by cops after they believed he was armed, police said, adding he fled from officers and then shot himself after a brief foot pursuit in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood. Ballistics and camera footage corroborate their story that the teen killed himself and officers didn’t fire any weapons during the confrontation, they also claimed.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office deemed Rosenthal’s death a suicide. However, witnesses have contradicted the cause-of-death ruling, Rosenthal’s family and attorney said. The teen’s relatives and community are demanding justice.
A GoFundMe has been started for Rosenthal.