CHICAGO (STMW) — The FBI is investigating a police shooting of two teenage boys during a 2013 stop of a car on the South Side.
The teens were wounded on Dec. 22 near 95th and LaSalle streets after Chicago Police officers curbed a stolen car packed with joyriders, the department said in a statement after the incident.
The driver ran away and a passenger moved into the driver’s seat and threw the car into reverse, the department said. Fearing for those in the car, an officer fired his weapon and struck two teens in the vehicle, the department said.
Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, gave a different version at the time. He said the driver backed up toward officers as a passenger tried to exit. Officers ordered the driver to stop, but the car moved forward and dragged the passenger, he said.
Concerned with the safety of the passenger being dragged, an officer fired on the car, Camden said. There wasn’t an exchange of gunfire, but a replica weapon was found in the car, he told reporters.
FBI agents have recently approached officers involved in the incident, according to a source familiar with the case.
A law-enforcement source confirmed that the FBI is investigating the shooting. Officials with the FBI and the Chicago Police Department declined to comment.
A spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates every police-involved shooting, said its investigation of the incident is continuing.
It’s unclear why the FBI is looking at the shooting, which has received scant attention in the media — unlike the controversy surrounding the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald, a teenager shot 16 times on Oct. 20.
McDonald’s death also is the subject of an FBI investigation, which the city’s corporation counsel disclosed to a City Council committee in April. The committee agreed to pay McDonald’s family $5 million even before a lawsuit was filed.
One of the questions in the 2013 shooting at 95th and La Salle is whether the officer violated a long-standing policy that prevents cops from shooting at vehicles in most situations.
In 2002, then-police Supt. Terry Hillard created new rules on firing at vehicles two years after an officer shot at a stolen car containing a toddler in the back seat. The officer said he feared the car would run over him.
Under that policy, “Firing at or into a moving vehicle is only authorized to prevent death or great bodily harm to the sworn member or another person. When confronted with an oncoming vehicle and that vehicle is the only force used against them, sworn members will move out of the vehicle’s path.”
In February, McCarthy revised the department’s policy, which now flatly prevents officers from “firing at or into a moving vehicle when the vehicle is the only force used against the sworn member or another person.”
“Several months ago Superintendent McCarthy changed department policy to clarify that officers are prevented from firing at or into a moving vehicle when the vehicle is the only force used against the sworn member or another person (as the language says). This updated directive is more restrictive and in line with best practices that other departments are using around the country,” said Martin Maloney, a spokesman for the department.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)