The City of Chicago released videos showing the 2013 police shooting death of Chicago teen Cedrick Chatman on Thursday, sparking new questions about whether the shooting was justified.
While several of the videos are hard to decipher, MSNBC released a frame-by-frame analysis of key moments leading up to the showing.
MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber, who helped prepare the analysis, said the video may help answer the key legal question about the shooting. “Was Cedric Chatman posing the kind of threat to those officers that justified force,” Melber asked, “or was he essentially fleeing?”
Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD detective, said the analysis “opens up a lot of questions” about police statements regarding the incident. Chicago police said Chatman was carrying a box that officers mistook for a gun, and that he turned at them before he was shot.
“It appears that he doesn’t turn around,” Giacalone said. “He is fleeing from the police, it doesn’t look like he even had a chance to turn around at that point.”
The City of Chicago opposed release of the video until this week, when it changed its position in court proceedings. Giacalone said the video shows the shooting was “a terrible incident,” which is why city officials kept it secret “for so long.”
The officers have denied any wrongdoing in the shooting. The City of Chicago is also continuing “a major overhaul in policy regarding how police officers respond to incidents and the use of physical and lethal force,” a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel told MSNBC Thursday.