As we’ve witnessed with cases like Freddie Gray, the race of an officer doesn’t always play a part in whether they’ll treat you humanely or not. However, in most shooting cases that go viral, it’s usually a white cop shooting an unarmed Black person that stirs outrage.
However, a recent video has gone viral of a Black officer shooting a white suspect, and it’s still just as shocking. According to The Associated Press, the incident occurred Friday afternoon at a downtown train station in Chicago. An officer caught a man jumping form one car to another in violation of a city ordinance and called for backup. Two officers eventually chased and grabbed the man, and the clip shows what appears to be a Black male officer on top of the white suspect at the base of an escalator while a Black female officer stands above them. The male cop is struggling to keep the suspect still with the suspect saying, “I didn’t do nothing to you.” The male officer tells the guy to “stop resisting” several times and at one point, he tells the female officer “shoot him!”
This is when the female officer appears to pull out some pepper spray ready to spray the man’s face before telling him to show his hands. Eventually, the male officer can be heard saying “mace him” and the female officer seems to get some sprays in, although not enough to subdue the suspect.
After more struggling, the suspect manages to stand up and the female officers says, “I’m going to shoot him,” to which the male officer yells “shoot him!” Once the female cop’s gun is out, she yells “sir, put your fu**ing hands down…sir, give him your hands!” When the suspect doesn’t follow the orders, a shot is fired. Then the suspect starts to run up the escalator and the two cops follow him before a second shot is heard. You can watch the video below. Warning, it is graphic.
The man was eventually revealed to be Ariel Roman and cops say Roman was hit twice by the bullets. The names of the officers involved have yet to be released.
Eventually, prosecutors decided to drop a resisting arrest and criminal narcotics charges against Roman at the request of the Chicago police. Interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said he made the request to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, according to a statement and she obliged.
“Given the totality of circumstances and the department’s significant level of concern around this incident, it would be insensitive to advocate for these charges,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi explained. “While we will not rush to judgment, the level of concern over the tactics used in this incident is significant.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the footage “extremely disturbing” and she supported Beck’s rare request for prosecutors to be sent directly to the scene. Ironically, the shooting occurred the same day that Lightfoot and the department announced a safety plan for the city’s rail system amid a spike in crime. The plan includes more officers on trains and at stations.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability was investigating the use of force while the FBI and state’s attorney are taking on the underlying criminal review. Roman’s attorney, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, reported that he underwent surgery after he was shot in the buttocks and abdomen and that he will probably need more operations. As of Sunday, Roman is still hospitalized but no longer in critical condition. Schmidt Rodriguez explained, Roman “remembers everything about the incident that took place and is fully committed to cooperating with the various investigations.”