Former officers weigh in on O’Neal police shooting videos

CHICAGO -- Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson moved swiftly to strip three officers involved in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal of their police powers.

But some protesters say that's not enough. After seeing the videos, they want criminal charges.

A press conference this afternoon outside CPD headquarters was halted by a handful of protesters.  Superintendent Johnson waited for several minutes to speak before calling it off. He talked briefly with us as he went back inside.

“I understand they're angry and they have a right to their opinion,” Johnson said. “At the same time, we're trying to do the right thing in terms of being transparent.”

WGN News watched the footage of the shooting that was released to the public with former Chicago police officer Richard Wooten.

 

Wooten retired from the department last year  and now runs the Gathering Point Community Council. He says officers shouldn't shoot at a moving vehicle.

“We have to understand when you're chasing someone who stole a car,” said Wooten.“It's not like chasing someone who has committed a homicide.”

From Chicago police officer Brian Warner also spoke to WGN News.

“You hear the adrenaline in their voice,” Warner said.

Warner has been on disability since he was involved in a fatal shooting in 2011. Now he's chairman of the Police Survivors group and he says the public shouldn't rush to judgment, because the footage doesn't tell the full story.

Warner says more has to be done to help communities in need.

“The biggest problem in these communities in my opinion is economic disparity,” he said.

Police have said O'Neal was not armed  but with officers only having a split second to make a decision, Wooten says proper training is critical.

Wooten retired last year after 23 years on the force. He says the department must continue to work on diversity.