Chicago’s police superintendent has stripped a sergeant of police powers in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Kajuan Raye.
The Independent Police Review Authority is reviewing the shooting, and the action taken by Superintendent Eddie Johnson is the most serious he can take until that review is complete, said NBC Chicago.
Johnson said he has concerns about the shooting.
Raye’s shooting death comes after a series of other police shootings have challenged the relationship between police and the community in Chicago.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Johnson’s Action Came After It Was Revealed That Raye Was Shot in the Back
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that Raye died from a gunshot wound to his back, said The Chicago Tribune.
The police superintendent’s action came after that finding.
WSGW said Raye was shot multiple times in the stomach.
Johnson said in a statement: “Having been a police officer for 28 years, I know that this job is not easy and the decision to use force is extremely complex and must be made in seconds without the benefits of formal reviews and deliberations. However, based on the little information we know at this point, I have concerns about this incident and feel this decision is in the best interest of the department and the people of Chicago as we await a methodical and impartial investigation into exactly what transpired.”
2. Police Were Unable to Find the Gun That the Sergeant Said Raye Was Holding
ABC 7 Chicago said the sergeant claimed that Raye pointed a gun at him before the sergeant shot him, but police haven’t located any weapon.
The police conducted a “grid search” looking for the supposed gun, but never found one, said The Tribune.
Police had claimed that Raye pointed the weapon twice, said WGN-TV.
3. The Shooting Occurred During a Foot Pursuit in Response to a Battery Call
The police say the sergeant started chasing Raye because he thought the teen “matched the description of a battery suspect,” said ABC 7.
Police had approached Raye at a bus stop, said WGN-TV.
WGN said officers in that district don’t have body cameras yet.
4. Raye’s Family Says He Ran Because He Was Afraid of the Police
Raye’s death was one of three fatal police shootings in Chicago in a week, said The Chicago Sun Times.
Raye’s family has told the news media they think Raye fled because he was afraid of the police; he was captured in a surveillance video running away, said the newspaper. The shooting was not captured in the video, however. Raye’s family addressed the news media:
According to a Go Fund Me site established by his aunt, Raye “was a great kid with and wonderful personaility and a smile you would die for. Kajuan gave life a chance and moved to Texas with my mom and I where he did great. When he turned 18 he decided he wanted to go back home to Chicago.”
She added, “Kajuan life was taken from him on 11/23/2016 by a police officer who shot an unarmed 19 year old boy on West 65th st in Chicago. Kajuan didn’t deserve this he was on the bus stop trying to get home to enjoy Thanksgiving with his mom and dad.”
5. Raye Had a Criminal History but His Family Says He Was Trying to Get His Life Together
Members of Raye’s family have spoken to the news media and expressed concern about attention on his criminal history (he was previously accused of theft.)
Raye’s cousin, Ahkeya White, said Raye was not doing anything wrong when police approached him, ccording to The Chicago Sun-Times.
The family has hired an attorney and plans a civil rights lawsuit, said the newspaper.
A site called Chicago Code Blue, which defines itself as a non profit organized to defend Chicago police, has argued the media are sanitizing Raye’s criminal history.
The site has posted numerous pictures it says are of Raye with weapons.