When someone gets shot and killed by police, it’s not always because the officer was racist or had some nasty ulterior motive. Sometimes people get shot by police because they present a danger to those around them. I know — crazy, right?
That seems to have been the case Saturday evening when a Chicago police officer fatally shot 37-year-old Harith Augustus. Officers were patrolling a neighborhood on the notorious South Side of Chicago Saturday evening when they saw Augustus and suspected the man of carrying a concealed weapon, according to CBS 2 - Chicago.
After the shooting, residents and protesters basically stormed police — at times throwing rocks and bottles, while some even damaged police vehicles — as a result of what one community activist called a lack of trust with the Chicago Police Department (CPD).
Community activist William Calloway said the following, as reported by CBS 2:
We’re pissed off; we’re tired. You’re killing us!
Our voice is not gonna be silenced.
We don’t trust what CPD says. Show us. Don’t wait 60 days. Show the community now.
Calloway called for the CPD to immediately release footage of the shooting. According to a tweet by the CPD’s Chief Communications Director Anthony Guglielmi, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson ordered the “early release” of the video on Sunday in order to ease tensions in the neighborhood.
Unfortunately for protesters, the bodycam footage shows that Augustus did have a firearm along his left hip, with what looked to be extra magazines along the right hip. Just before the shooting, it does appear that Augustus reached for his weapon. Augustus’ hand was on the area where the firearm was located, with his trigger finger extended at one point.
Here’s the video:
So, why the protests? It’s mind-boggling to me that people don’t care one bit about what actually happened and seem to be more concerned with pushing a racist or police-abuse narrative that simply isn’t there, at least in this case.
Whether Augustus had a concealed carry permit is still up in the air, but the fact that the man reached for his weapon makes the point of whether the firearm was legal moot.
While the investigation into the shooting is ongoing, the officers involved will be placed on desk duty.
Here’s the CBS 2 - Chicago local report on the protests (or assault on police, if you look at it that way):
H/T: Washington Post