(CHICAGO) — A 13-year-old boy remains hospitalized after a Chicago police officer shot him “recklessly, callously and wantonly” during a foot pursuit last week, a new federal lawsuit alleges.
The teen was struck once on May 18 after fleeing from a stolen car, Chicago police said.
The lawsuit, which was filed on the teen’s behalf in U.S. District Court on Thursday, claims the officer chased the boy on an “inherently dangerous” foot pursuit that was unjustified because the boy was unarmed. According to a number of witness accounts, the boy had his hands up when he was shot.
The teen was identified in the lawsuit as a Black seventh grader with the initials A.G.
“A.G. is currently lying in a hospital bed with a bullet still lodged in his body after being shot in the back by an officer with the Chicago Police Department,” the lawsuit states. “A.G. and his family are waiting to learn whether he will ever be able to walk again.”
The lawsuit names the Chicago police officer, whose identity has not been released, and the city of Chicago as defendants.
In a statement to ABC News, the city’s law department said it has yet to be officially served the complaint.
“Upon receipt, the complaint will be reviewed,” Kristen Cabanban, a spokesperson for the law department, said. “We will have no further comment as the matter is now in litigation.”
The lawsuit claims that A.G. was shot through the back and suffered a spinal cord injury, multiple rib fractures and an esophageal injury, among other wounds.
“While A.G. survived the shooting, he has been permanently and catastrophically injured and remains hospitalized,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges the officer used excessive force “in violation of the U.S. Constitution” and that the Chicago Police Department continues to disproportionately use excessive and deadly force against Black people. It also claims that the city has failed to implement a foot pursuit policy as required by a federal consent decree on police reform efforts.
The court-ordered overhaul of CPD policies followed the 2014 fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and a Department of Justice investigation into the murder. An independent report released last month found that the police department failed to adopt a permanent foot pursuit policy by the consent decree’s September deadline.
“Tragically, the deep-seeded systemic problems that led to the entry of the Consent Decree — implicit bias and failures in training, supervision, and accountability — still exist today,” the lawsuit states. “A.G. is the latest victim of CPD’s systemic failures.”
The family is seeking damages for A.G.’s past and future medical expenses and is demanding a trial by jury.
The shooting is currently being investigated by the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), an independent agency, which said that no weapon was recovered from the scene. The officer involved has been temporarily placed on routine administrative duties, the police department said.
Chicago police officers were attempting to stop a stolen vehicle when the teen got out of the car and fled, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said during a press briefing last week. Authorities allege the teen was involved in two recent carjackings.
Brown said at the time that he was limited in what he could discuss about the shooting.
“This investigation will reveal the facts,” he said, adding that COPA has his department’s full support.
In a statement, COPA said it was “committed to a full and thorough investigation into the officer’s use of force to determine if their actions were in accordance with Department policy and training.”
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