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Dash Cam Video Shows Chicago Cop Shooting at Unarmed Black Teens in Car

Chicago Police Department policy prohibits officers from firing into a moving vehicle, unless necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to the officer or another person.
June 19, 2015, 4:05pm
Photo via YouTube

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Video shows a Chicago police officer shooting dozens of times at a vehicle carrying black teenagers, according to a report from the Chicago Reporter citing dash cam footage that it obtained.

The incident took place in December 2013. According to a lawsuit filed by the teenagers' parents against the City of Chicago and three Chicago police officers, the car that they were traveling in was stopped by two officers in Chicago's South Side for speeding. One of the passengers soon fled.

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Officer Marco Proano had just arrived on the scene, and approached the car with his firearm drawn and held sideways. His vehicle's dash cam recorded him shooting from the side as the vehicle moved in reverse; he is said to have fired more than a dozen rounds into the vehicle. The were six unarmed black teenagers inside the car, and two of them were wounded. One was hit in the shoulder and had bullets graze his forehead and cheek. Another was hit in his hip and heel. No one was killed.

The video notes that Chicago Police Department policy "prohibits officers from firing into a moving vehicle, unless necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to the officer or another person." Neither Proano nor another officer was in the path of the vehicle when he opened fire.

It was determined that the car being driven by the teenagers was stolen. Three teens were charged with the theft.

According to the Chicago Reporter, the video was provided by retired Cook County Judge Andrew Berman, who disclosed the footage because he was "troubled" by it. Judge Berman presided over a criminal case against one of the teens.

"I've seen lots of gruesome, grisly crimes," he told the media outlet. "But this is disturbing on a whole different level."

Proano has a history of complaints. Between 2011 and 2015 there were six grievances filed against him, including a complaint for excessive use of force.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of three of the teens who were in the car was settled for $360,000 in March. The City Council needs to approve the payout.

The video had initially been placed under a protective order by the federal judge overseeing the case, but according to the Reporter, Berman is not legally obligated to abide as he oversaw a separate case — which he heard the day before he officially went into retirement.

"My first reaction was, if those are white kids in the car, there's no way they [would] shoot," Berman said, according to the Reporter.

"You don't start firing into a car full of unarmed people," Berman said. "You just don't do that."

As for Proano, the officer has yet to receive any form of punishment and was reassigned to a desk job. The Independent Police Review Authority has yet to conclude an investigation of the shooting, despite 18 months having passed.