CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police said they expect to eventually release video that shows 15-year-old Steven Rosenthal shooting himself in the head while running away from officers, but only after making sure they can do so legally, and showing the video to the family first.
“Any time you have a juvenile involved in releasing video, it’s different. So we’ll look at everything, and when feasible and lawfully we’re able to,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Monday. “Certainly we would like the family to see it first.”
Rosenthal’s family has disputed the official finding by police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office that he committed suicide Friday night while running away from police.
Police said officers tried questioning Rosenthal because they believed he was armed. He allegedly ran from officers and pulled the gun on himself after a short pursuit from police on the 1500 block of South Keeler in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.
Dozens of people marched in North Lawndale on Sunday, chanting “Justice for Steve!”
“I need to see evidence, body cams. They need to release the video. My nephew would never commit suicide, ever,” his aunt, Terinica Thomas. “My 15-year-old nephew, Steven, was shot and killed by Chicago Police Department.”
However, police have said ballistics and camera evidence show officers did not fire their weapons when they confronted Rosenthal. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, which work’s independent from CPD, ruled Rosenthal’s death a suicide.
“It’s difficult, so I understand their anguish. That’s not easy. Losing a loved one under any circumstances is difficult,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Monday morning. “As soon as we can hopefully provide them some relief, we will certainly do that, just to assure them and to let them know certain things about the circumstances of what occurred.”
Johnson said the department does plan to release video from the incident “at some point.”
“Any time you have a juvenile involved in releasing video, it’s different. So we’ll look at everything, and when feasible and lawfully we’re able to,” Johnson said. “Certainly we would like the family to see it first.”
Rosenthal’s family and attorney have said there are witnesses who contradict the official finding of a suicide.