The fiancee of a 25-year-old black man who was fatally shot by Chicago police last year is suing the department and the two officers involved.
Police say Joshua Beal’s death in 2016 occurred after an off-duty Chicago firefighter argued with motorists who were blocking a fire lane during a funeral procession. They say two officers, one of whom was off-duty, opened fire when Beal grabbed a gun from a car and pointed it at the officers.
Police records of the shooting were later released. In a 911 recording the off-duty officer tells the dispatcher that the group cut him off, and then one car pulled up next to him while another car was behind him.
“And now they are running up on another person,” the officer said. “I’m telling you, you better get the police here now.”
According to a police report, Beal suffered eight gunshot wounds.
The suit filed on behalf of Beal’s fiancee and two children says the off-duty officer didn’t properly identify himself before shooting Beal, of Indianapolis. It also says the officer’s actions “created a chain of events which gave rise to an excessive and unreasonable use of force and ultimate battery upon Joshua Beal.”
The suit seeks more than $100,000 in damages.
City of Chicago Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey didn’t comment on the suit because he said his office has yet to see it.
Beal’s death sparked demonstrations by those who denounced the shooting and others who supported the officers. It followed the release of the video of Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting African-American teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.