CHICAGO (CBS) — A jury has awarded $350,000 to the family of a teenager fatally shot by a Chicago police officer in 2013 – an action the jury members determined was not justified.
Seventeen-year-old Christian Green died after Officer Robert Gonzales shot him in the back during a chase in Englewood. Authorities say Green had pointed a gun at police.
“I can never get my son back. I miss him. I’m just grateful it turned in my favor,” Patricia Green, the teen’s mother, said Tuesday. “Christian Green, my son, needed a voice, and I was his voice.”
As part of reaching their $350,000 verdict, jurors determined Gonzalez could not have reasonably believed his life was in danger at the time of the shooting.
Surveillance video showed Green attempting to throw a gun in a trash can. It bounces off. Green turns back, picks it up and continues running. Gonzalez follows, shooting Green in the back.
Gonzalez left court, without making comment.
“We had an opportunity to talk to the jurors and one of the things they said to us was the stories of the officers appeared contrived, too polished and coordinated,” Green family attorney Victor Henderson told reporters.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson testified during the trial. At the time of the July 4, 2013 shooting, Johnson was the acting street deputy who responded to the scene and signed off on “use of force” reports.
Independent investigators found the shooting to be justified.