A Chicago cop sued over the fatal 2013 police shooting of a black teenager is exonerated by video that city lawyers long sought to keep from public view, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
City lawyers abruptly changed their minds last week and sought the release of video depicting the January 2013 shooting death of 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman. Now, U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman has said that video supports the dismissal of claims against Officer Lou Toth, who did not shoot but was sued by Chatman’s family for his failure to stop Officer Kevin Fry from pulling the trigger.
“The video tapes refute any suggestion that Toth had any opportunity to prevent Fry from discharging his weapon,” Gettleman said in an opinion filed Thursday.
The judge also criticized the city for not turning over the video — even to be viewed behind closed doors by the judge — and for allowing the same lawyers to represent the two officers. The video exonerates Toth, but it “arguably supports” the claims against Fry, Gettleman wrote. A lawyer for the Chatman family has said the judge finally sought the video for himself in December.