Police Video So Bad, All Charges Are Dropped

Officers shoot suspected train-jumper Ariel Roman after a long scuffle
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2020 5:00 PM CST
2 Words Echo Across Chicago: 'Shoot Him'
This Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 image from cellphone video shows Chicago police officers trying to apprehend a suspect inside a downtown Chicago train station.   (Michael McDunnah via AP)

Cellphone video of a police shooting rocked Chicago this weekend after officers struggled with a man on the subway—and apparently shot him twice, the Chicago Tribune reports. Police say two officers tried arresting Ariel Roman at Grand Station on Friday for jumping train cars. Video shows officers attempting to cuff him, Tasing him, possibly pepper-spraying him, and telling him "Stop resisting!" seven times, per the Chicago Sun-Times. Roman eventually staggers to his feet and stumbles back as one officer yells, "Shoot him." The Tribune says it's unclear whether this meant "more pepper spray or use of force," but a shot is fired as Roman runs up the escalator. The officers pursue and another shot is heard.

Now Chicago authorities have dropped charges against Roman (for narcotics and resisting arrest) as he recovers in hospital. "Given the totality of circumstances and the department’s significant level of concern around this incident, it would be insensitive to advocate for these charges," tweets a police rep. "While we will not rush to judgment, the level of concern over the tactics used in this incident is significant." Indeed, both officers were taken off the street, two investigations are underway, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls the video "extremely disturbing." As for Roman, a family lawyer says he was shot in the abdomen and buttocks and underwent surgery; USA Today reports he's no longer in critical condition. As an aside, the two officers involved appeared to be black and the suspect white. (Read more police shooting stories.)

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