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Chicago Top Cop Explains When It’s Okay To Shoot A Fleeing Suspect

REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

Chicago’s top cop argued there are certain situations where it’s acceptable to shoot a fleeing suspect in the back during a trial Thursday.

Eddie Johnson, the Chicago Police Department’s superintendent, testified during a wrongful death trial concerning a 2013 fatal police shooting, reports NBC Chicago.

The family of a slain teen boy filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Chicago officer who fatally shot their fleeing son. During the trial, Green family attorney Victor Henderson asked Johnson if it’s justifiable to shoot a fleeing suspect.

“Yes. I have a constant reminder right here that someone can fire at you while they are running away,” Johnson said at the trial, referring to the time a fleeing, but armed, suspect shot him in 2005.

The Green family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against officer Robert Gonzalez, who shot their 17-year-old son Christian Green in 2013. The family contends that Gonzalez shot Green when he was unarmed and running away from officers.

Their lawyer pointed out that police reports showed the gun was found 75 feet from Green’s body.

“Any time anyone, male, female, black or white is fleeing and is shot in the back, that is cause for alarm,” Henderson told NBC 5 previously.

Chicago police maintain that while Green fled from the police, he tried to toss his gun in the garbage. After missing the garbage can, Green picked up the gun and continued running, police said.

Henderson also asked Johnson whether he would try to protect his officers in the case.

“If a police officer is wrong, it’s my job to articulate that,” Johnson said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The facts will guide my decision.”

Gonzalez is due in court Friday to testify.

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