CHICAGO — Body camera video was released Wednesday by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in a fatal police-involved shooting last month.
The shooting occurred in the 3800 block of West Flournoy in Garfield Park on April 15. According to preliminary information, COPA says the incident started when two officers approached a group of people and one person started to walk away — but then fled.
His family said he was in town for a funeral and was standing away from a group of people.
The person, identified as 24-year-old Reginald Clay Jr., was pursued on foot by the two officers to a gangway with no exit. You can see him running with a gun.
According to video released by COPA, Clay attempted to exit the gangway in the direction of the officers, pulled out a gun and one of the officers opened fire and shot him.
After being shot, video shows Clay putting the gun on the porch. Clay’s family said he was trying to put the gun down when he turned toward the officer.
Clay died later from his injuries.
“You did not see a gun chasing him, he’s not a known drug dealer, he’s not a felon, so why did you chase my son? He was scared,” Reginald Clay, his father, said. “You can see it clear he was scared to death. He was running for his life.”
COPA did not say in the report if Clay raised the gun at officers – only that he had a gun that was recovered from the scene.
Family members said they feel the video shows the chase was unjustified and Clay didn’t point his gun at police.
“I’m hurt right now,” his father said. “It feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest, you know? I can’t hurt my son’s voice no more.”
His family said he was a loving father who was planning on joining his father’s trucking business.
He had a FOID card and no criminal record.
Clay’s family has sued the CPD and claims he ran to “avoid being hassled.” The family accuses officers of violating the department’s foot pursuit policy.
On Wednesday evening, family and friends were outside Chicago police headquarters calling for justice.
“We are here because the policy that is in place, the foot pursuit policy that was instituted by the current administrator, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration after the murder of Anthony Alvarez and Adam Toledo, those rules are in effect but these officers say, ‘It doesn’t matter I can still pursue him,'” Michael Ben Yosef with the Chicago Activist Coalition for Justice said.
His father said his son’s shooting is a reckless act on behalf of CPD.
“The police did some unjust things to my son,” he said. “They murdered my son. It’s on the video. They murdered him.”
COPA will conduct an investigation to determine if the officers’ actions followed Chicago Police Department policy and training.
The officers’ involved have been placed on desk duty for 30 days.