Chicago, IL — As TFTP reported in May, Chicago police shot another unarmed 13-year-old boy. The boy had his hands up, was not a threat, and was merely a passenger in a vehicle that was suspected to be stolen. More than two months have passed since that day and we have just learned that the officer who shot the child failed to turn on his body camera. However, a cop right next to him, had it on and it captured the shooting on video.
A week after the shooting, the boy's parents announced a lawsuit against the city and the Chicago police department claiming that the department has been too slow in adopting reforms to address CPD’s "long sordid history of using excessive force" which led to their son being shot. And their son's paralysis from being shot proves it.
"This young boy's life has changed forever," said Andrew M. Stroth, the family's attorney. "This is an active young boy who is fighting to be able to walk again."
The boy, identified only as A.G. in the lawsuit has been hospitalized since he was shot on May 18. Though he didn't die, the bullet hit him in the spine and has left him "permanently and catastrophically" injured, according to the lawsuit.
"CPD’s shooting was wholly unjustified as A.G. was running away from the shooter, he was unarmed, and he posed no threat of harm to the officer who shot him or anyone in the vicinity," the lawsuit states. "Multiple witnesses at the scene reported that A.G. was complying with the officers’ directive for him to put his hands up — and indeed his hands were up — when John Doe Officer shot him."
That John Doe officer has since been identified as Noah Ball. It has also been revealed that Ball didn't activate his camera until after he shot the boy.
According to police, they were investigating a stolen car being driven by an alleged carjacker. The boy was not the driver but when police pulled over the vehicle, the child jumped out of the backseat and ran away. He was never charged with a crime.
Officers were trying “to stop a stolen vehicle wanted in connection with a vehicular hijacking from a neighboring suburb,” in the 800 block of North Cicero Avenue about 10:15 p.m., according to a statement from Chicago police.
Police would claim that as the boy ran, he "turned toward officers" briefly before one of them opened fire and shot the unarmed child. Video shows that the boy did stop, but he was putting his hands in the air and had them up when the officer fired on him.
“All of a sudden, I see a little guy wearing all black get out of the car and run toward the gas station, and his hands were up,” one witness who asked not to be identified told ABC7.
“And I seen the cop run up to the boy and started shooting. That boy didn’t have no gun or nothing,” the witness said.
Recommended for You
“They said, ‘Put your hands up, put your hands up!’ The boy’s hands were up. There’s other people out there that seen it. I got it all on my phone — his hands were up. He didn’t have a gun,” the witness said. “They shot him for no reason.”
Timothy M. Grace, an attorney for Ball justified his client shooting the child because the child "pointed" his cellphone at the officer.
"Police officers are required to make split-second decisions and the law not only understands that but allows for it. Illinois law tells us that we are not supposed to look at these situations with 20/20 hindsight but rather we should judge the actions of a law enforcement officers from the perspective of a reasonable officer," he told ABC 7.
“You can hear Officer Ball yell that he has a gun.” Ball believed “the object being pointed at him was a firearm. That dark object in his hand being pointed at officers was not a firearm but in actuality a large cell phone,” Grace wrote.
He added, “Officer Ball had to make a split-second decision as he had no cover and no concealment. He discharged his service weapon to stop the threat.”
But there was no threat.
“The police didn’t have to shoot him. If he got out the car running and he wasn’t a threat, they didn’t have to shoot him,” said a neighbor in her 70s who lives a block from the gas station. “I’m so sad. He’s just 13. … they don’t have guidance.”
Below is the first video taken from the surveillance camera at the gas station. It shows multiple officers chasing after A.G. before he's shot and collapses.
View this post on Instagram
Though it is unclear in the video above whether or not A.G. had his hands up, in the video below captured in a pod camera obtained by WGN, we can clearly see that his hands were in the air when he was shot. The newly released body camera shows the same thing.