Updated 12/7/15 – 2:49 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County prosecutors have declined to file criminal charges against a Chicago police officer who shot and killed 25-year-old Ronald Johnson, saying dashboard camera video of the shooting shows Johnson was carrying a gun when he was shot.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said her office conducted a “very careful” review of the Independent Police Review Authority’s investigation of the shooting, and determined Johnson resisted arrest, and ignored several orders to drop a gun he was holding as he fled police on Oct. 12, 2014.
On the night he was shot, Johnson had been in a car with friends when a gunman shot out the rear window in the Washington Park neighborhood. Alvarez and Assistant State’s Attorney Lynn McCarthy said another person who was in the car with Johnson told investigators he heard Johnson cock a gun and tell the driver to head back to where the car had been shot.
Alvarez and McCarthy said Johnson fled the scene when police arrived, holding a gun in his hand, and resisted arrest when police responded to 911 calls of shots fired.
Prosecutors said officers who arrived on the scene saw Johnson holding a gun, and ordered him to drop the weapon, but he ignored their orders and fled the scene. Alvarez said Johnson struggled with two officers who responded to the scene, and knocked one of the officers to the ground, and ran away again.
Alvarez said Officer George Hernandez pulled up in an unmarked police cruiser, with two other officers, and saw Johnson run behind their vehicle, so he began chasing Johnson, ordering him to drop his weapon. Johnson continued to ignore the orders to drop his weapon, and Hernandez fired five shots, striking Johnson twice.
One bullet struck Johnson in the back of the knee, the other went through his shoulder, and exited his eye socket. Johnson was pronounced dead a short time later.
Asked why it took so long to complete her review of the Johnson case, Alvarez blamed the Independent Police Review Authority, saying she relied on their investigators to conduct interviews and gather evidence. She noted her office asked IPRA question two specific witnesses in the case in April, but did not hear back until recently.
Alvarez also showed dashboard camera video of the shooting. While the blurry video does show the flashes from Hernandez’s weapon as he fires at Johnson, it is difficult to see if he has a weapon in his hand.