CPD is refusing to release any further videos despite releasing its version of events and a partial edited video.
CHICAGO – Civil rights activist William Calloway this morning sued the Chicago Police to compel the public release of all videos of the July 14th police shooting of South Shore barber Harith “Snoop” Augustus. CPD has already announced that it will not release any further footage of the shooting because of the investigation being conducted by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).
The suit aims to “force Defendant CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT to release all audio and video from the fatal shooting of Harith Augustus – not just the selective, incomplete, and edited recording that CPD released to justify the shooting in response to public criticism and questions.”
It alleges that CPD “engages in a pattern, policy, and practice of selectively disclosing information, photos, and videos of officer involved shootings that is based in whole or in part on whether CPD has been publicly accused of or questioned about misconduct or dishonesty and whether the information supports CPD’s narrative of what occurred.” It notes that CPD is relying on the same legal arguments that were rejected in the Laquan McDonald case.
“If CPD can immediately give its version of events and an edited version of some of the footage, then it certainly can release unedited versions of all of them, including the circumstances that led to its interaction with Mr. Augustus in the first place” said attorney Matt Topic of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. “Our General Assembly has made clear that the public has a right and an obligation in a democracy to expect and demand full disclosure from its government.”
“The Chicago police dept is not fixed and this administration has not been true to its promise of transparency. As a result, we are again forced to file suit,” said Calloway.
Besides Mr. Topic, Mr. Calloway is also represented in his suit by Joshua Burday, also of Loevy & Loevy. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms. Loevy & Loevy forced the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video and many others, and over the past decade, Loevy & Loevy has won more multi-million-dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country. A copy of the suit, William Calloway v. Chicago Police Department, No. 2018 CH 08965, is available here.