'Why did he have to pull his gun on us? I had to. He was gonna shoot us': Cop's shell-shocked reaction after he shot dead an armed black man in Chicago
By Megan Sheets
August 17, 2018
Newly-released bodycam footage shows the shell-shocked reaction of the police office who shot dead an armed black man in Chicago last month.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability on Thursday released several raw video clips in which four police officers can be seen and heard approaching Harith Augustus outside a store on the city's South Side on July 14 because they suspected he was carrying a firearm.
In footage from one of the officer's bodycams, Augustus can be seen wiggling out of the grip of a female officer and appearing to pull a gun from out of his waistband when another male officer fires a shot at him.
In the moments following the shooting, the officer appears to be shell-shocked, breathing heavily and muttering under his breath as he staggers away from the suspect as he tries to make sense of what has just happened.
The officer repeatedly says: 'He pulled on a gun on me', as if he's trying to convince himself and others that his actions were justified.
Slow-motion video shows the moment Augustus spins out of law enforcement's grasp and runs into the street, appearing to go for his gun.
The officer can be seen raising his gun Augustus' direction, firing five shots in his direction.
Seconds after the shooting, the body camera's audio turns on, and the officer who fired the shot can be heard radioing in to the station as he walks away to catch his breath.
He then tells another officer: 'He pulled a gun on me.'
Realizing that he's shaken up, the female officer asks her partner if he's okay, telling him: 'You're good. You're good.'
When he asks: 'Did he have a gun?' the female officer confirms that a weapon was found on Augustus' person.
He then says: 'Why did he have to pull a gun out on us?'
The female officer tries to calm him down, saying: 'Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth.'
Still seemingly in a daze, the shooting officer says: 'I had to. He was gonna shoot us. He pulled a gun on us.'
She responds: 'I know he did, I know he did. Look at me, you're okay.'
Investigators confirmed that Augustus, the father to a five-year-old, had a handgun as well as two extra magazines on his person when he was shot. He was later found to have a Firearm Identification Card but not a Concealed Carry License.
The shooting sparked several days of unrest and violence clashes between angry protesters and police in Chicago's South Side.
Just moments after the shooting, crowds gathered at the scene and began chanting: 'No justice, no peace' and 'murderers', quickly becoming combative with officers.
Four protesters were arrested and some police officers suffered minor injuries from thrown rock and bottles, some of which were filled with urine. Two squad cars were also damaged.