AP NEWS

Watchdog says Chicago cop justified in 2014 shooting death

October 30, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago police officer was justified in fatally shooting a 19-year-old man on the back porch of a house in 2014, but an investigation into another officer who was at the scene is ongoing, the city’s police oversight agency said.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released its ruling Tuesday on the death of Roshad McIntosh, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Officer Robert Slechter said McIntosh pointed a gun at him before he opened fire. The agency’s report said a loaded 9 mm pistol was found at the scene and that another officer corroborated Slechter’s story.

Lawyers for McIntosh’s family insist the young man wasn’t armed and that surveillance video proves the other officer couldn’t have seen the shooting. Witnesses even said McIntosh put his hands up before he was shot.

COPA said Officer Saharat Sampim remains under investigation due to discrepancies between his statements and video footage. The video showed Sampin in a different position than he had initially reported. He declined to comment.

Cynthia Lane, McIntosh’s mother, said in an interview that the inconsistencies between officers’ accounts and the video footage discredit the official version of events.

“I’m still fighting for justice, and I’m not gonna stop,” Lane said.

Court records show the video also proved that another officer, Sgt. Nicola Zodo, was in a different position than he had previously said, suggesting it would have taken him longer to reach the porch.

The agency noted the differences in Zodo’s statement and the video but said it was “otherwise generally consistent with the available evidence.”

The Independent Police Review Authority — COPA’s predecessor — ruled the shooting justified in 2015. That agency was shut down in 2017 due to ineffectiveness.

Disciplinary officials reopened the case in 2017 at the family’s request after an investigation showed insufficiencies. COPA investigates all police shootings in the city but has no specific power to order prosecution or action against officers involved. It can only make recommendations.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com