Harith Augustus, known as “Snoop the Barber,” was shot by Chicago Police Saturday evening, reportedly by a female police officer. Harith was the father of a 5-year-old daughter and was a well-known barber in his South Shore neighborhood. Police said they encountered a man “exhibiting characteristics” of being armed, there was a confrontation and Augustus was shot and killed.
Shortly after, the streets erupted in the neighborhood with residents turned demonstrators demanding answers from police. Police said a weapon was recovered at the scene.
By midnight Friday, demonstrators were still in the streets, police and residents clashed and a number of people were arrested. One reporter was caught up in the chaos and was pushed to the ground by police.
Bodycam video released Sunday shows Augustus was armed with a gun and magazine and shows him running from police when shot.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Witnesses Said a Female Police Officer Shot Augustus in the Back as he Was Running Away
After 7 p.m., when residents were already in the street, Chicago police tweeted there was a police involved shooting an hour earlier with an “adult male offender struck,” adding no officers were injured. Details were to follow.
Two hours later, police said “Officers assigned to a foot assignment observe a man exhibiting characteristics of an armed person. Officers go to question him when a confrontation ensues and he is shot. The man was fatally wounded. A weapon recovered on scene.”
But witnesses told local media that Augustus was shot in the back possibly more than once, by a female officer in the back as he was fleeing. Witnesses said the officer was whisked away from the area in a police cruiser. As of this post being published, that officer had not been named.
2. Augustus, in his 30s, Was Known as Snoop the Barber’ & Was Well-Known in the Neighborhood
At around 5:30 p.m., police officers happened upon Augustus who they said was armed. Police video shows a brief confrontation and when cops try to take Augustus into custody, he tries to flee and a weapon can be seen in his waistband. He runs away and is shot.
One of his customers told local media the barber usually “brings his daughter with him wherever he goes, but she wasn’t with him today.”
On his Facebook page, which has not been recently updated publicly, he goes by Harith Liu Augustus, a barber.
Augustus was pronounced dead at Jackson Park Hospital, fire officials told local media.
3. Shortly After the Shooting, Residents Took to the Streets Demanding Answers & Chanting ‘Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect?’
First the crowds were small and police appeared to have it contained but soon the demonstrations escalated with pushing, shoving, screaming and yelling between cops and residents.
A reporter said a woman on the scene said, “We just want to live. Our black kids keep getting killed. We just want to live.”
Then police began pushing back and batons were used.
Reporter Nadar Issa, who was himself attacked by police and received subsequent racist threats on Twitter, described the scene as “tense.”
Over the course of several hours, the crowd grew, the police presence intensified and tussles and tensions escalated.
Then reportedly bottles and rocks were hurled across barricades. A number of people were taken into custody. Pushing, shoving, kicking, punches thrown, a melee between cops and protests erupted and police used tasers on demonstrators.
Some have described the police actions Saturday night as brutal.
4. BodyCam Video Released Sunday Shows Augustus Was Armed & Running Away
Described as “cool, laid back, very intelligent,” the barber was accused of selling loose cigarettes by police, witnesses told Issa. Witnesses told the reporter Augusts said he wasn’t selling them but was “just handing a couple to his aunt.
An argument started, and he began to run.” It’s reported that both police and witnesses said when he ran, police fired.
It was also reported that he carried a gun, had it holstered and had a carry permit but that has not been confirmed. The video does show him armed but police have not confirmed if he was licensed to carry.
Police said late Saturday night Augustus had become “combative.” Outside CPD headquarters, Chief of Patrol Fred Waller said the “man had a bulge near his waistband and ‘became combative,’ and that the shooting was captured on police bodycam. That has not been released as of publication of this story.
5. Augustus, Who Became a Barber in 2009, Was in a Relationship & Had a 5-Year-Old Daughter. ‘Snoop Made People Better’ Said Friend
Often posting inspirational quotes, Augustus was a Chicago native, he attended Kennedy King College and De LaSalle Institute. He posted on his Facebook timeline he became a barber in 2009 and posted a few pictures of himself working in the barbershop.
Snoop was a barber. That’s what he did. His friends say he was not a drug dealer he was a hard working good man.
“He came in here 9 to 5 every day. He made people feel better just by giving them a haircut …he was quiet. All this ruckus I don’t know about. That’s not who he was.”
Another barbershop customer said, Augustus “had cut my hair not even He was a good person, lovable, quite Kept to himself, though.”
When asked what they wanted the world to know about Snoop?
“He was a good person, a good barber, we’re gonna miss him.”
His friend and co-worker Rev said, “You took a guy out of here who had a powerful influence. A lot of people don’t understand the barber, a guy like that, to wake up everyday and change a person’s life …a lot of people don’t wake up to change people’s lives but this guy woke up every day to change people’s lives with a simple haircut …”
Many have taken to social media to pose a similar albeit rhetorical question: