On Sunday, Chicago police released a portion of the body-cam footage from an officer involved shooting that left a 37-year-old barber dead, and sparked widespread violent protests.
Initially, details were scarce, with many furious at the thought of another black man shot dead by police. However, in an attempt to stop the backlash and violence, Superintendent Eddie Johnson made an executive decision to release the body-cam footage in record time to further explain the fatal incident.
In the footage, which runs less than a minute without sound, at least four officers, three of which were white, approach Harith Augustus to inquire about the gun in its holster on his waist. However, within moments, the incident escalates.
As two officers attempt to grab Augustus’ wrists, the man can be seen pulling himself away, before he spins off balance and attempts to run. That is when officials say Augustus reached for his weapon, which prompts an officer, who has yet to be identified, to fire his weapon.
However, the exchange prior to the shooting remains unclear. But, while the footage does show that Augustus was armed, it also showed that he tried to show his Firearm Owners Identification Card, which allows people to buy weapons and ammo, ahead of the altercation.
“I have an obligation to this city, to the community, and to these police officers, to make sure this city is safe and calm,” Johnson said of his decision to release to the footage. “We can’t have another night like that.”
In the meantime, the officers involved have been placed on 30 day administrative duty.