CHICAGO — Family and friends accompanied a horse-drawn carriage procession for the funeral of Reginald Clay Jr. Saturday afternoon.
“Ever since April 15,” said Tara Henderson, Clay Jr.’s mother. “My world has been shattered.”
According to the Chicago Police Department, officers were patrolling the area around the 3800 block of West Flournoy Street on April 15 that morning as a part of a de-escalation mission after a gang member was killed in the same neighborhood a week prior.
Police said they spotted several people near a vehicle while on patrol, one of whom leaned into the vehicle and ran away when police approached him. It was at this point police said the man turned toward officers with a gun, and that’s when they opened fire.
The man, who family later identified as Clay Jr., was taken to an area hospital where he later died.
Clay Jr.’s family said he was gathered with others the morning of the shooting as they prepared for a funeral of a friend.
“He was going to a funeral and look,” Henderson said. “Now I’m having his funeral. Now make that make sense.”
In an update last week from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), they make no mention of Clay turning toward officers with a gun, instead saying the 22-year-old was in possession of a firearm that was recovered at the scene.
The family now wants the bodycam footage captured during the incident to be released.
“You said he did this. Well, show me that he did,” Henderson said. “That’s the reason he’s in that horse[-drawn carriage] right there. Show me that. They owe me that.”
As a part of the update, COPA said their plan was to expedite the release of the body camera footage, saying in part:
“COPA will review the initial interaction, foot pursuit, body worn activation and subsequent use of deadly force as well as all other matters to determine if the officers’ actions were in accordance with Department police and training”Ephraim Eaddy, COPA First Deputy Chief Administrator
COPA has not set a date for when the body camera footage will be released.