After more than three years of resisting, Chicago police officials have released video showing the 2013 killing of 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman.
According to CNN, Officers Kevin Fry and Lou Toth were pursuing Chatman, who was reportedly driving a stolen car, on January 7, 2013. At one point during the chase, Chatman exited the vehicle and began to flee on foot, causing Toth to spring after him. Fry, who had stayed behind, opened fire when he thought he saw a gun in Chatman’s hands. It turned out to be a black iPhone box. An area judge has condemned Fry’s actions, saying he put both Toth and innocent bystanders at risk when he opened fire.
Neither Fry nor Toth have been charged for Chatman’s death; however, Chatman’s 23- and 22-year-old friends have been charged with first-degree murder. Neither men were in the vicinity of the shooting, but Illinois law punishes anyone who participates in a chain of events that leads to someone’s death (in this case, the two teens were allegedly connected to the reported carjacking). After serving two-and-a-half years in jail for Chatman’s death, the two men had the murder charges dropped and took a plea deal. They are currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for robbery and unlawful vehicular invasion.
Chatman’s family has been pushing for police to release the video since filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the two officers involved. An attorney told reporters yesterday that Chatman’s mother was “very happy” with the video’s release.