Chicago Police Release Bodycam Video Of Cop Fatally Shooting Harith Augustus

The 37-year-old barber had been armed with a semiautomatic weapon, according to police.

Chicago police have released body camera footage showing an officer fatally shooting a man they say was armed on Saturday.

Harith “Snoop” Augustus, a 37-year-old barber, was shot and killed by a police officer in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, witnesses told the Chicago Sun-Times. Police have not publicly identified the officer.

Footage taken by an officer at the scene and released by police Sunday sheds new light on the shooting, though the video lacks additional context. The 40-second video does not include audio nor does it show what happened in the minutes leading up to and after the incident.

Chicago Police Chief Fred Waller said Saturday that officers reported seeing “a subject that they thought might have been armed around his waistband.” The man began “flailing and swinging” at the officers and appeared to reach for his weapon as he tried to escape, according to Waller.

The newly released bodycam footage shows Augustus appearing to reach behind him as officers attempt to grab him from behind. The video has been edited by police to pause on a moment where Augustus’ waistband is shown, appearing to reveal what looks like a firearm.

As Augustus tries to flee the scene, an officer is shown opening fire on him.

Augustus had been armed with a “semiautomatic weapon” and “had magazines on him,” Waller said Saturday.

The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days, ABC 7 Chicago reported. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is continuing to investigate the shooting and officials plan to release audio from the body camera footage at a later date, officials said Sunday. 

“From police perspective, you know, these things happen in a split second,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a press conference Sunday. “Officers have to make decisions quickly.”

“We’re not trying to hide anything,” Johnson said. “The video speaks for itself.”

Johnson added that the officer is male and still in his probationary period on the force, meaning that he completed his field training but is still relatively new.

Protests erupted in Chicago on Saturday following Augustus’ death. Some protesters chanted “murderers” at police, while another protester used a megaphone to yell out the names of other people who had been fatally shot by Chicago police, including 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

In 2014, a police officer shot McDonald 16 times as he walked away from police. Three years later, three officers were indicted on felony charges for allegedly conspiring to cover up the shooting. The three were arraigned last week.

Four protesters were arrested Saturday, while three or four officers sustained minor injuries during the protests, according to officials. Protesters were expected to gather again Sunday night at the site of the shooting.

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