Footage shows Chicago police shooting unarmed man twice on subway escalator

The Associated Press/ Civilian Office of Police Accountability
The Associated Press/ Civilian Office of Police Accountability

Video released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability have shown the moment Chicago police shot an unarmed man twice at a subway station.

The footage from the Chicago Transit Authority and police body-cams demonstrate in detail how the shooting of Ariel Roman took place on 28 February after he was pulled up for violating a city ordinance.

In the most graphic moments of the footage, cameras reveal how police shot Mr Roman once at the foot of a subway escalator and then again with his back turned to officers while he tried to run away.

Mr Roman, 33, survived the incident but was severely injured. The officers involved have been stripped of their police powers pending the outcome of an investigation.

Before the shooting unfolds Mr Roman is seen changing transit cars through the carriages gangway doors, a violation of city ordinance, before being confronted by two officers and being asked to leave the car.

In later security footage after Mr Roman has wrestled with officers, he is seen running up to the top of the escalator after the first shot is fired. While his back is turned one of the officers shoots him again in the back and he collapses to the floor.

The first bullet damaged his small intestine and bladder, and the second one entered his buttocks and lodged near a sciatic nerve, according to Mr Roman's lawyers.

A video of the incident posted on social media in February taken by a bystander, showed the officers tackling Mr Roman to the ground and a different perspective of the short-order cook running from officers up the escalator.

The shooting brought into question whether the state’s police department is complying with a multifaceted court-monitored reform plan aiming to reduce excessive force from officers.

“While managing the Covid pandemic is the top priority, Mayor Lightfoot must address another crisis in Chicago and that is the use of excessive and lethal force by Chicago police officers,” Andrew M Stroth, one of Romans Chicago lawyers, said.

At the time Chicagp Mayor Lori Lightfoot branded the shooting “extremely disturbing”, based on initial bystander footage

The officers involved could face criminal charges if the shooting is deemed unjustified during the investigation.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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