WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Video from the August 13, 2017, shooting of 19-year-old autistic teen Ricky Hayes has been released 14 months after the incident occurred.
The Civilian Office of Police Academy (COPA) posted the videos on their website on Tuesday.
In August 2017, Hayes, who was 18 at the time, broke out of his caretaker’s home. A ward of the state, Hayes’ caretakers immediately contacted police and filled out a missing person’s report.
Approximately three hours later, Officer Khalil Muhammad, who was off-duty at the time and driving his own pick-up truck, saw Hayes whistling on the 1000 block of South Wood Street in Chicago. He then engaged in an “armed confrontation” with the teen, as police said at the time.
Hayes was shot twice in the arm and chest and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center.
In 2017, a lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement released after the videos were uploaded, the ACLU asked why it has taken so long for the videos to be released.
Their statement reads: “On August 13, 2017, Ricky Hayes needed help from the police because he had left his home late at night and gotten lost. Instead of receiving help, an off-duty Chicago Police officer chased and shot him multiple times without even getting out of his vehicle first. As a black teenager with disabilities, Ricky was at a heightened risk for police violence. Thankfully, he survived – but he should never have been shot. The video shows both that there was no justification for the officer to shoot him and that initial stories told by CPD officials about the shooting—that the ‘encounter escalated’—were false.”
According to The Intercept, Hayes was known for sneaking out of his caretaker’s home.
The video shows Muhammad driving up to Hayes– who, at that point, was standing on the front lawn of a house with his arms by his side– and opening fire. After being shot twice, Hayes ran away and Muhammad pursued him. The off-duty officer then ordered Hayes to lie face down on the ground and called 911 to request an ambulance.