police shooting, Chicago, Black man

Police Who Fired 96 Shots In 41 Seconds, Killing 26-Year-Old Black Man During Traffic Stop, Under Investigation

A video showed the driver, Dexter Reed, firing the first shot and injuring an officer. The other four officers then fired 96 shots in 41 seconds.

The incident in which several plainclothes Chicago police officers fired nearly 100 shots in under a minute, killing 26-year-old Dexter Reed, has prompted a police investigation agency and Cook County prosecutors to look into the use of excessive force in the police department over the March 21 stop.

According to the Associated Press, videos and statements surrounding the deadly traffic stop have raised questions about the officers’ conduct. The investigative agency expressed concerns over the officer’s actions to Police Superintendent Larry Snelling. 

They also noted that their agency was currently investigating the same five officers for a complaint that was filed over a traffic stop a few weeks before the shooting of Reed. 

The March 21 incident began when officers in an unmarked car pulled Reed over for allegedly not wearing a seatbelt, according to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). The situation turned violent when he allegedly refused to get out of the SUV. 

The video showed Reed firing the first shot and injuring an officer in the wrist. The other four officers then fired 96 shots in 41 seconds. They continued to fire even after Reed exited the vehicle and collapsed. 

COPA Chief Administrator Andrea Kersten wrote in an April 1 letter, “Based on the totality of the available evidence, COPA has grave concerns about the officers’ ability to assess what is a necessary, reasonable, and proportional use of deadly force.” 

The American Civil Liberties Union pointed out that the officers immediately drew their guns and cursed at Reed while they ordered him around.

ACLU of Illinois spokesman Ed Yonka said, “From the moment they all jump into the vehicle to chase the car, you can feel the adrenaline rush. There were no efforts at de-escalation.”

The officers are currently on a 30-day administrative leave during the investigation, but Kersten has recommended relieving all officers involved of their police power until the investigation is concluded.

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx revealed that there is a possibility of criminal charges being brought against them as well.

Several investigative forces have asked questions about the validity of the stop itself.

“Why would a police officer, not in uniform, bother with something like that?” Geoffrey Alpert asked. 

“The available evidence calls into question the veracity of this account,” Kersten wrote.

Reed’s family members and friends are also skeptical of the legality of the stop. They said, “If he was supposedly pulled over for a traffic stop, why did they have four guns pointed at him? He was scared.”

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