Grainy video of the Chicago police shooting of Ronald Johnson III was released Monday as prosecutors announced the officer who shot the young black man in the back will not be charged.
Johnson, 25, was fatally shot in 2014 by Officer George Hernandez, whose family demanded the release of dash-cam footage from the confrontation.
His family contended Johnson was not armed. Assistant State’s Attorney Lynn McCarthy told a news conference Monday that Johnson did not obey several orders from police officers to drop his weapon.
“He did not comply with any of their commands,” she said.
She narrated the dash cam video made public Monday, describing how several officers chased Johnson after he was stopped in a residential neighborhood. As Johnson ran into a nearby park, pursued by cops, Hernandez fired five shots, two of them hitting the suspect in the knee and the upper back, prosecutors said.
The video release is the second in the past several weeks of Chicago cops shooting to death a young black man. Johnson was killed eight days before Laquan McDonald, 17, was gunned down by officers. In the latter case, Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder.
In both shootings, authorities were forced to publicly release dash-cam footage. In the McDonald case, a judge ordered city leaders to release the video. In the Johnson case, Mayor Rahm Emanuel reversed the city’s decision to keep the footage private and ordered its release.
Also on Monday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Justice Department will conduct a separate and wide-ranging investigation of the Chicago Police Department.
“Building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is one of my highest priorities,” Lynch said.