LAWNDALE — The city agency charged with investigating police misconduct will reopen an inquiry into the 2014 fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man in Lawndale that prompted protests and a federal lawsuit, officials said.
Police said McIntosh was part of a group being questioned by police at the intersection when he tried to flee. He pulled a gun and was shot, and that the gun was recovered at the scene, police said.
However, witnesses told McIntosh's family that he was not armed and was kneeling on the ground with his hands in the air when he was shot. Protesters compared McIntosh's death to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a few weeks before. Brown's death set off weeks of violent protests in the St. Louis suburb.
Independent Police Review Authority spokeswoman Mia Sissac said the case was reopened after "a thorough review of the investigative file."
"We found sufficient reason to reopen the case for further investigation," Sissac said. "IPRA will fully investigate the matter, and at the conclusion release our findings. A reopened case is not an indication that the findings will be modified, but only that further investigation is necessary."
Sissac did not say what information prompted the case to be reopened.
The original IPRA decision came after the agency interviewed the officer involved and seven officers who saw the incident.
An IPRA report found "that an officer with similar training and experience ... would reasonably believe that [McIntosh] posed [an] immediate threat to his or her safety."
According to IPRA investigators, the officer who shot saw McIntosh "exit the gangway and proceed up the steps of the back porch with a chrome firearm in his right hand."
The report said that McIntosh raised his gun and pointed it at the officer, leading the officer to shoot three times.
"There were no potential civilian witnesses that were identifiable" and cooperating with the investigation, the report said. The report stated that only one other officer saw the shooting.
Here's that report:
McIntosh's family took issue with agency's account.
At a City Hall protest in September 2014, Cynthia Lane, McIntosh's mother, said witnesses to the shooting told her, "My son was in a surrender posture with his hands up begging for his life," when he was shot three times in the chest.
At a press conference Thursday near the corner where her son died, Lane said she wants the officer who killed her son, and all those involved what she called the "cover-up of his murder," to face criminal charges.
"To me, he was shot and killed for no reason," said Lane, who is raising her 5-year-old grandson who constantly asks to see his father. "To surrender and do what you’re told and still get shot down like a dog, to have your life taken away, is wrong."
Lane said her son's death "seems like yesterday."
"I don’t sleep," Lane said, crying. "I still don’t sleep, and it’ll be three years on the 24th of this month. I think about him all the time, and I will always think about him."
William Calloway, an activist who has been outspoken on the need for the Chicago Police Department to be reformed, called on State's Attorney Kim Foxx to reopen the case against the officer who shot McIntosh.
“If Kim [Foxx] doesn’t want to press charges on these officers, Kim needs to recuse herself," Calloway said, his voice rising in anger. "We did not elect her to do this — to look over these cases and not press charges. Recuse yourself then.”
Foxx said her office reviewed the initial misconduct investigation and declined to file charges in connection with McIntosh's death.
"In the event that IPRA’s reopened investigation produces material new evidence, we will re-evaluate and determine whether such evidence impacts our decision as to potential criminal charges,” a representative for Foxx's office said in a statement.
The Independent Police Review Authority will be replaced next month by a new agency — the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has promised the new agency will work faster and more thoroughly while investigating allegations of excessive force and misconduct by police officers.