A video of Chicago Police Department footage was leaked on social media that shows the fatal shooting an unarmed woman holding her baby. CBS Chicago reports the video shows 24-year-old mother Brittany Hill being shot at point-blank range by someone driving by in a car in West Chicago. The footage shows Hill shielding her toddler from gunfire.
CBS Chicago reported the shooting happened in the 1200 block of North Mason Avenue on the far West Side around 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28. The video is from a city camera in the area of Division and Mason.
The video shows that as Hill gets out of her black sedan, a silver Chevy Impala drives down the street and pulls up to her. According to police, the occupants got out of the car and began shooting. Hill tried to take cover behind a car and used her body to cover the 1-year-old during the gunfire, according to police spokeswoman Michelle Tannehill.
Hill was pronounced dead at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park at 9:25 a.m. Area North detectives are investigating and believe the shooting was not a random act and that the woman was targeted due to gang conflicts, Tannehill said.
Police have now charged Michael Washington, 39, and Eric Adams, 23, in connection with Hill’s death.
The video footage was leaked on social media without the express consent of the Chicago Police Department, who called it “an unauthorized release.” A police spokesman said in a statement on Twitter, “We have notified the state’s attorney’s office and opened an investigation to determine who electronically accessed the video and whether anything was released or compromised.”
Legal analyst Irv Miller told CBS Chicago the footage should not have been leaked and that the thousands of views the video has generated could complicate the prosecution of this case.
“This is a major misstep by somebody in law enforcement,” Miller said. “It has to come from the Chicago Police Department or someone at the states’s attorney’s office. They’re the only ones who’d have access at this limited period of time.”
The leaked video could make it difficult to find an unbiased jury to try the two suspects, or could force the trial to be relocated, he said.
“By having this leaked, to have the public see it now could result in problems later on in the trial because jurors, and we’re all potential jurors, can’t be exposed to things like this prior to the trial,” Miller said.
Miller says in addition to the possible fallout for the murder case, it is possible that the person responsible for leaking the video could face felony charges of official misconduct.
Hill’s family said they are aware of the video’s release but wouldn’t comment further.