CHICAGO (CBS) — Two Chicago police officers have been cleared in the November 2016 shooting death of 25-year-old Joshua Beal during a confrontation in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability said the shooting was within policy.
Police have said Beal was captured on cell phone video pointing a gun in the direction of an off-duty officer who also had his gun drawn.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Shower Chance By Daybreak
Beal and the officer had gotten into a fight outside the Mount Greenwood firehouse shortly after Beal and several others left a nearby cemetery.
An autopsy report revealed Beal was shot six times and grazed twice.READ MORE: Postal Worker Tells CBS 2 Staffing Issues Due To Federal Leave, Prioritization Of Package Delivery Are In Part To Blame For Persistent Mail Problems
The shooting of Beal, an African American, stirred months of racial tensions in Mount Greenwood, a largely white neighborhood.
COPA released a statement on the decision that reads, in part:
“After an extensive, exhaustive and thorough investigation, including the interview of nearly 20 civilians, numerous members of the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department, review and analysis of video evidence, Trajectory Analysis by the Illinois State Police and other relevant materials, COPA has released its Summary Report of the investigation involving the death of Joshua Beal and concluded the actions taken by Chicago Police Officer Treacy and Sergeant Derouin were within policy. A companion investigation involving other allegations raised by the Beal family have been investigated under a separate log.MORE NEWS: Shock And Outrage In Humboldt Park At Death Of Young Parents Yasmin Perez, Gyovanny Arzuaga In Shooting Called 'Execution-Style'
COPA recognizes the racially charged and tense nature surrounding the tragic events. Video evidence captured Officer Treacy announcing he was a police officer after a Chicago Fire Department member was being beaten by several members of the group. Officer Treacy initially responded lowering and raising his weapon consistent with the advancement and de-escalation of the crowd. Video evidence does also display a raised weapon in the hand of Joshua Beal prior to the officers discharging their firearms.”