The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has released video of a 2017 incident in which an off-duty Muslim sergeant, Khalil Muhammad, is shown shooting an unarmed black teen with developmental disabilities from an unmarked vehicle after chasing him through the neighborhood for looking ‘suspicious.
ABC7Chicago (h/t Larry H) Ricardo Hayes (below), then 18, had wandered away from his home and his caretaker called police, informing them he was autistic and missing, according to Karen Sheley of the American Civil Liberties Union says.
Sergeant Khalil Muhammad, 47, was off-duty, wearing civilian clothes and driving his unmarked personal vehicle when he spotted Hayes wandering the neighborhood.
In documents released by COPA, Sergeant Khalil Muhammad claimed he was in imminent threat of battery by an armed man who was unresponsive to orders. But no weapon was ever recovered and the victim’s attorney said the shooting was far away from justified.
A home surveillance camera captured the violent encounter in which Muhammad opened fire from a pickup truck, wounding 18-year-old Ricardo Hayes in the chest and arm.
“Ricky wasn’t doing anything wrong. He wasn’t breaking any laws. He wasn’t armed. He didn’t initiate contact with this officer,” said Gabriel Hardy, attorney for Ricky Hayes. Hayes survived the shooting and has now filed a lawsuit.
“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,” Sheley said.