COOK COUNTY JAIL — The brother of a man shot and killed by an off-duty police officer last week in Mount Greenwood was released on bond Thursday afternoon after an anonymous donor gave $50,000.
Michael Beal is charged with assaulting and trying to disarm a police officer in the melee that left his brother, Joshua Beal, dead. The shooting touched off days of protests and counterprotests in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood.
Michael Beal walked out of Cook County Jail shortly after noon Thursday. An anonymous donor gave $50,000 to secure his release, according to Sharlyn Grace of the Community Bond Fund.
"I'd like to thank whoever it was who helped my family," Beal's sister, Cordney Boxley, told reporters Thursday. "It's very much appreciated."
Boxley declined to talk about Michael Beal's case or Joshua Beal's death, noting that people are "going to say what they're going to say. ... There's always three sides to a story."
The incident leading to Joshua Beal's fatal shooting began about 3 p.m. Saturday near 111th Street and Troy Avenue. Joshua Beal was in a procession of cars returning from a funeral when he stopped in front of a firehouse on 111th Street, according to prosecutors.
An off-duty police officer told Joshua Beal he was blocking access to the firehouse, sparking a confrontation, prosecutors said. Another off-duty officer in a nearby barber shop joined in the confrontation, prosecutors said.
A group of nine people approached the second officer and started punching him, prosecutors said.
A police sergeant driving by saw what was happening, got out of his car, drew his gun and announced he was a police officer, authorities said.
"You're not the only mother------- out there with guns," Joshua Beal said and waved a gun "back and forth," according to prosecutors. Joshua Beal then pulled the trigger, prosecutors said. It was unclear whether the gun actually fired.
Joshua Beal, in town to serve as a pallbearer at his cousin's funeral, refused to drop his gun, and he was shot multiple times, prosecutors said. He later died at Advocate Christ Medical Center.
Michael Beal then tried to pick up his brother's gun, prosecutors said.
"F--- you," Michael Beal said, according to prosecutors. "You killed my brother. I'm going to kill you."
Michael Beal then fought with one of the off-duty officers, choking him on the ground, prosecutors said.
Officers arrested Michael Beal, who now is charged with trying to disarm a police officer and assaulting an officer. Cook County Judge Donald D. Panarese Jr. ordered that Michael Beal be held on $500,000 bail, meaning he needed $50,000 to get released.
Barry Spector, Michael Beal's attorney, said the story shared by prosecutors is incomplete and varies from accounts given by police.
The lawyer suggested video exists not yet seen by the public, perhaps from the firehouse. Such video would "tell the whole story," Spector said.
"I think until that's released, we hope the city shows the family some considerations here and shows us some respect here and lets us see the video before it's released to the public," Spector said.
Spector said Michael Beal should not be punished for attacking an officer after seeing his brother fatally shot because it was not undeniably clear he was dealing with police.
"You've got a guy on a Saturday afternoon going around running errands wearing gym shoes and blue jeans and a T-shirt, and he's walking out with a gun sticking it in your face, saying, 'I'm the police,'" Spector said. "Well, says who?"
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.