Protesters in Chicago gathered and confronted the police as a response to the recent fatal police shooting of a Black man who officers say appeared to be armed in the South Shore neighborhood last Saturday. Witnesses and protesters demand answers for yet another incident of constitutional rights violation against Blacks, especially in Chicago.
Last Saturday around 6:30 pm, four officers on foot noticed Harith Augustus, a 37-year old Black man, that was “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person” and tried to question him, according to Chicago Police District spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
A confrontation between the officers and Augustus then happened and he eventually broke free from the officers.
“They thought he appeared to be reaching for a weapon, which he did have a weapon on him, and the officers tragically shot him,” Chicago police patrol chief Fred Waller said, noting that police have recovered a semi-automatic weapon.
Several gunshots were fired and Augustus was pronounced dead at Jackson Park Hospital.
Harith Augustus, also known as Snoop the barber, was an admirable, good man as described by his workmates and the people who knew him. They were saddened by the news.
Almost immediately after the shooting, witnesses and onlookers went to the scene and started throwing rocks and bottles, some filled with urine. The crowd was chanting, “No justice, no peace,” “How you spell racist? CPD,” among others. Some were even jumping on two squad cars.
Officers tried to control the demonstrators by dragging them to the ground and striking with batons. Guglielmi blamed “inaccurate information that the individual was unarmed” for triggering the crowd.
Around 10:30 pm, Guglielmi said the officers had “cleared the crime scene.” He added that at least four officers were injured and four of the protesters were arrested.
One of the witnesses, Allen Davis, said that when the police saw the man’s holster, they asked for his concealed carry permit. But upon reaching for it, they shot him.
A body camera footage was released last Sunday but it wasn’t clear in the video whether Augustus took out his gun. It does not appear though that he extended his arm toward the officers.
In a statement, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) said it is investigating the issue and is committed to a “thorough, objective and unbiased investigation and requests the public’s patience and cooperation.”