The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released footage of a Chicago police officer shooting an unarmed teen with autism 14 months after the shooting happened.
COPA posted videos of the Aug. 13, 2017 shooting of 19-year-old Ricky Hayes on its website Tuesday. Hayes was 18 at the time of the shooting and survived. He was struck by bullets twice.
According to the lawsuit filed in federal court, Hayes was whistling and singing in the streets near the 1000 block of South Wood Street on the South Side. He had been known to break out of his caretaker’s home in the past. Hayes was a ward of the state. As soon as he escaped the home he was assigned to at 1:25 a.m. that day, police were called and a missing person’s report was filled out. Roughly three hours later, Officer Khalil Muhammad tracked down Hayes on his own.
Muhammed kept his job after shooting Hayes, but according to the federal lawsuit, has reportedly been stripped of his police powers.
This is part of what was heard on the 911 call shortly after the off-duty cop fired at the teen:
911 dispatcher: Morgan Park High School, what happened?
Officer Khalil Muhammad: “(inaudible) He’s about to pull a gun on me. He walked up to the car and I had to shoot.”
In the video, Hayes is seen running into view on the right side of the screen. He stops abruptly then turns to face the oncoming pick-up truck with hands at his side. The approaching headlights seen in the video, is Muhammed in pursuit who said he “observed someone behaving suspiciously.”
On the surveillance tape, no conversation is recorded, but when Hayes begins to walk toward the truck, two clear shots ring out. Hayes then runs off screen. Muhammed then gets out of his vehicle to chase the teen on foot.
In an extended version of the 911 call, the shooting victim can be heard groaning in the background after being shot. This is heard as the officer orders Hayes face down on the ground until an ambulance arrived.
The day after the shooting, Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson suggested that Hayes was unresponsive and elusive and that somehow, the incident “escalated,” prompting the officer to discharge his service weapon.
COPA said the delay in the release of the video was the direct result of the strict prohibitions of the Juvenile Court Act and the research necessary to ensure that release did not otherwise violate state law. Hayes was considered a minor because of his mental disabilities.
The release of video of Hayes’ shooting was brought to light by Jamie Kalven, the independent journalist who was instrumental in getting video released of the Laquan McDonald shooting. McDonald was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke on Oct. 20, 2014. Video was released 13 months after the shooting.
Van Dyke is in jail awaiting sentencing after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm on Oct. 5. His next court date is Oct. 31.