CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Saturday said he’s relieving the sergeant involved in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man of his police powers.
In a written statement emailed to the media, Johnson said he took the action because the department still has “many unanswered questions” about Wednesday night’s shooting in West Englewood.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office on Friday said an autopsy of Kajuan Raye showed he was killed by a gunshot wound to the back.
Johnson said those preliminary findings along with the unsuccessful search for a weapon the sergeant said was displayed during the pursuit led to Saturday’s announcement.
“Having been a police officer for 28 years, I know that this job is not easy and the decision to use force is extremely complex and must be made in seconds without the benefits of formal reviews and deliberations,” Johnson said in the statement.
“However, based on the little information we know at this point, I have concerns about this incident and feel this decision is in the best interest of the department and the people of Chicago as we await a methodical and impartial investigation into exactly what transpired.”
The sergeant, who had already been put on desk duty, will continue to be paid but have to turn in his weapon and badge. Relieving an officer of police powers is the most serious action the police department can take during an open investigation.
Police say the sergeant had given chase, thinking Raye matched the description of a battery suspect. Police say Raye was shot after the teen twice appeared to point a gun at the pursuing officer. But no gun had been found at shooting scene.
Dozens of family member and supporters gathered Friday near the scene of the shooting to remember Raye’s life and call for justice.
Attorney Jay Payne is representing the family and planned to file a civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Monday against the CPD and the sergeant who shot Raye.
“We will not wait on the IPRA investigation, we will not wait for the police,” Payne said. “We will seek justice for this family.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)