CHICAGO (CBS) – The Civil Police Accountability Bureau released a video of two policemen shooting an unarmed man in the vicinity of Pilsen in July, days after the officers were charged with multiple crimes.
The video shows officers opening fire from an unmarked police car on July 22 on 18th Street near Morgan Street.
Chicago Police Sergeant Christopher Liakopoulos, 43, and Officer Ruben Reynoso, 42,
Their defense attorneys asked the judge to block COPA from sharing the video, saying the video would only show half of what happened, but the judge rejected the request and COPA posted the video on Tuesday.
The only surveillance video that shows the shooting has no sound, while two other videos posted by COPA captured the sound of the shooting but did not show the shooting.
WARNING: THE VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT
The video shows an unmarked police car backing up the street when a group of three is standing on the sidewalk.
One of these people walks away while two others – a young man in a white hooded sweatshirt and another young man in a black T-shirt and what looks like a mask or hood – approach the officer’s car.
A man in a white hooded sweatshirt, 23-year-old Miguel Medina, holds a bottle and a cell phone in one hand, and with the other he raises his empty hand towards the officers just before the shooting begins, while a young man in a black t-shirt turns away from the officers and runs out of the camera . The man in the black shirt seemed to be pressing a gun to his chest as he escaped, but he didn’t seem to be aiming at the officers before they opened fire.
One officer’s arm is seen aimed at the passenger-side window before Medina falls to the ground as the other young man runs out of the camera.
Both offices are then seen getting out of the car and shooting again at the young man in the black T-shirt. One of the officers escapes from the camera, the other stays with the car, but does not help Medina as she lies in the street.
Moments later, you can see a passerby stop to check on Medina before departing. In a matter of minutes, more police arrive and you can see other officers dealing with Medina.
Chicago police initially said officers opened fire after one of the people who approached their car started shooting, but Cook County Attorney Kim Fox* said last week that the surveillance footage was contradictory with the account of both officers regarding the shooting. Fox* said Liakopoulos and Reynoso were the first to open fire and had no justification for opening fire in Medina.
“The officers involved in this incident had no provocation or justification to shoot an unarmed victim during this incident. The evidence did not support the use of lethal force in shooting an unarmed victim and was against the law, ”Fox* said. “We cannot ignore or perpetuate acts of unprovoked violence, even at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect our communities.”
Both Liakopoulos and Reynoso reported on Thursday and posted bail following a bond hearing on Friday. Both were also ordered to hand over their firearms and firearms’ ID cards.
Both officers are attached to the Serious Accident Investigation Unit and have been relieved of their police powers. Fox* said he faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
At the officers’ bond hearing on Friday afternoon, deputy state attorney Alyssa Janicki said after Liakopoulos and Reynoso stopped to interview a group of men they spotted outside closed businesses near 18th and Morgan to ask them what are they doing there, 23 year old. -the old man and the underage started walking towards the passenger of the unmarked police car of the officers.
While the minor had a gun bag on his chest, the 23-year-old was unarmed; Janicki says that he has a mobile phone and a bottle of wine in one hand, and an empty one in the other.
After approaching the officers’ car, the underage turned and ran away, while the 23-year-old showed the officers both hands. Janicki said it was then that both Reynoso and Liakopoulos aimed their guns at the passenger’s side window and started firing.
According to Janicki, the 23-year-old was shot in the back and leg and fell to the ground. The juveniles ran further east on 18th Street before fired several shots at the officers who fired a few more shots.
According to Janicki, the pedestrian following the juvenile suffered an abrasion. Neither the juvenile nor the officers were injured.
The shot 23-year-old Miguel Medina has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Liakopoulos.
Officers ‘defense attorneys questioned prosecutors’ account of the shooting, saying that Medina pointed at the officers as both he and the underage walked towards the car, and saying the video surveillance did not make it clear who shot first.
“It’s not clear who scored first … but it doesn’t matter if he aims at him,” said Reynoso defender Brian S*xton.
S*xton also accused prosecutors of bringing charges too quickly before the Civil Police Accountability Office finishes even examining the case.
“Stan jumped on the shark,” said S*xton.
According to Fox*, the officers involved had no body cameras. Video evidence in the case came from surveillance cameras near the scene.
Fox* said an investigation remains open regarding a minor who has not been charged.
COPA is also investigating the use of force by officers, but has yet to announce any findings.
Liakopoulos has been a Chicago police officer for 21 years. During this time, 10 complaints were brought against him, but none were substantiated – and he was never fined.
Reynoso has been in service for 19 years. He has had four complaints against him and, like his partner, none has been substantiated.
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