By Justin Madden
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A man who was shot by Chicago police last year said on Monday he wants the officers fired from the department, days after the city’s law enforcement watchdog issued a rare finding that the shooting was unjustified.
“I want them to step down,” Antwon Golatte told a news conference. “They knew they were wrong for what they did and they’re not just going to keep hurting innocent people out there.”
Golatte was shot multiple times in the chest and abdomen in February 2015 after he drove off in his Lincoln SUV as police tried to stop him after an alleged drug transaction on the south side of Chicago, according to documents released by the watchdog, the Independent Police Review Authority.
Golatte, who is black, was 33 when the shooting occurred. IPRA did not name the officers, but Golatte’s lawyer, Chris Stewart, said one officer was white and the other Hispanic.
The IPRA investigation found the officers had moved out of the vehicle’s way and used deadly force without justification.
The United States has been embroiled for the past two years in a debate over excessive use of force by police against black men and women. Chicago police have also been criticized, including for the October 2014 death of Laquan McDonald, 17, who was shot 16 times by an officer.
Some critics have accused Chicago’s IPRA of being toothless.
Since the agency’s formation in 2007, IPRA had found almost all incidents of police use of lethal force as justified.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel overhauled IPRA in the wake of protests, and under a new director the agency has reopened some investigations into police shootings. So far this year it has found three shootings from previous years unjustified.
Three days after Golatte was shot, the Chicago Police Department updated its policy on use of deadly force, prohibiting officers from shooting at moving vehicles if no other weapons were being used against police.
Stewart said Golatte was still weighing whether to bring a civil case against the police.
The officers who shot Golatte have not been charged. However, Golatte is facing four charges related to the incident, said Danielle Pinkston, one of his attorneys.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against the officers.
The charges against Golatte are still pending and a court date is scheduled for Aug. 1., Simonton said.
(Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Matthew Lewis)