Two Chicago officers relieved of police authority after shooting

Two Chicago officers were stripped of their police authority on Friday after a preliminary investigation found they may have violated department policies during a shooting the day before, the department said.

Three police officers shot and killed an 18-year-old man on Thursday after he sideswiped a squad car and another vehicle with a stolen Jaguar he was driving when police tried to arrest him, the Chicago Police Department said in a statement. The man was identified as Paul O’Neal, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and other department officials reviewed the incident on Friday, then relieved two of the officers of their authority and assigned them administrative positions, pending the outcome of internal and Independent Police Review Authority investigations, the department said in a statement.

“It appears that departmental policies may have been violated by at least two of the police officers,” the department said.  

The three officers were placed on administrative duties for 30 days, according to a statement after the shooting. The move on Friday goes further by stripping two of the officers of their authority; they will not return to duty unless they are cleared of wrongdoing, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The United States has been embroiled for the past two years in a debate over excessive use of force by police against black men and women. Chicago police have come under criticism for some of those incidents, including the October 2014 death of Laquan McDonald, 17, who was shot 16 times by an officer.

Another man who was shot by Chicago police, after he drove off in his vehicle as officers tried to stop him last year, said on Monday he wants the officers fired from the department, days after the IPRA issued a rare finding that the shooting was unjustified.

Three days after the incident, the Chicago Police Department updated its policy on use of deadly force, prohibiting officers from shooting at moving vehicles if no other weapons were being used against police.

It is unclear if a weapon was recovered at the scene of the incident on Thursday.

In July, IPRA released data showing Chicago police shootings are declining and use of electric-shock Tasers is up, suggesting training in non-lethal force is beginning to take hold in the embattled department, which faces a federal investigation over its use of force and complaints of racial profiling.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee, editing by Larry King)

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