UPDATED: 9:35 a.m. EDT, June 8 — The young Black man who police killed in Chicago this week had a gun before he was shot in the back, according to the police department’s spokesperson. There is video footage that will confirm Maurice Granton, Jr., had a gun at the time of an official drug investigation in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of the city, Anthony Guglielmi tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Friends and family insisted after the shooting that Granton, who was running away from police when he was shot, had left the street life behind and was a family man. They said the gun police recovered did not belong to the father of two young daughters because he wouldn’t be carrying one in the first place.
The medical examiner confirmed that Granton died from a gunshot wound to the back, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
No information has been released about the officer who shot Granton other than to say he was placed on paid administrative leave, the Associated Press reported.
“Since when does running validate somebody getting shot?”Joanna Varnado, Granton’s sister, asked rhetorically, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t understand that. You’re not being offensive, you’re being defensive.”
“I just want to know what the real story is. If it was misconduct, I want justice. My brother was 24 years old. He loved his girls. That’s all he lived for, was his kids.”
Conflicting accounts were surrounding a police shooting that killed a Black man in Chicago Wednesday night, with some suggesting officers were trying to cover it up.
What police described to the Chicago Tribune as “an armed encounter between the offender and police” in the Bronzeville section of the city was actually an execution, with officers shooting Maurice Granton, Jr., in the back as he ran away, according to reports on social media.
Adding to the confusion was police claiming that Granton had a gun and pointed it at them before running, but Granton’s family has said the gun that was “recovered” did not belong to him.
“Since when does running validate somebody getting shot?”Joanna Varnado, Granton’s sister, asked rhetorically. “I don’t understand that. You’re not being offensive, you’re being defensive.”
Granton, 24, was the father of two daughters.
“I just want to know what the real story is,” Varnado told the Tribune. “If it was misconduct, I want justice. My brother was 24 years old. He loved his girls. That’s all he lived for, was his kids.”
The mother of Granton’s daughters also said he did not carry a gun.
“He didn’t have no gun on him. He has two kids to live for, so he wouldn’t do anything dumb. He come home to his kids every night,” Tayshia Shaw told CBS Chicago. “That’s not his personality. He wouldn’t even chance his life doing that, knowing he has two very young kids to come home to.”
According to a USA Today report from 2016, “Black people have been killed in police chases at a rate nearly three times higher than everyone else.”
If reports of Granton being shot in the back turn out to be true, the officer(s) who shot him could be indicted for murder charges, if historical precedence is any indication. Former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting Walter Scott in the back. At the time of the shooting, Scott was fleeing on foot.
The Chicago Police Department has long has a reputation for police brutality and overall corruption, including some new wrongful convictions that were reported by the Associated Press just this week.
“We’ve had all kinds of police corruption, we’ve had police torture cases, but we’ve never had so many cases where there is clear evidence that police actually set people up for crimes they didn’t commit,” Marshall Hatch, a minister and activist in Chicago, told the AP on Sunday.