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Police Watchdog Agency Releases New Videos Of Officer Shooting Ariel Roman At Red Line Station

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Civilian Office of Police Accountability on Tuesday released 18 new videos showing a Chicago police officer shooting an unarmed man at a busy CTA station in February, after confronting him for passing between cars on a Red Line train.

The videos include a longer version of the infamous cell phone video showing Officer Melvina Bogard shooting Ariel Roman in the stomach and lower back at the Grand Red Line station on Feb. 28.

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported Tuesday night, some of the videos are also body camera videos, while others are from the Chicago Transit Authority and bystanders. But what you won't see are the body camera videos from the perspective of the officers at the center of the incident, which were not included.

Bogard and Officer Bernard Butler have been relieved of their duties as COPA investigates the shooting.

The two officers confronted Roman after seeing him illegally move between cars of a Red Line train.

Videos from several surveillance cameras on the train show Bogard and Butler talking to Roman on the train, before he walks away from them. Moments later, Bogard follows him and motions to him to get off the train. The surveillance videos do not have sound, so it's not clear exactly what they said to each other.

Log # 2020-0988 3rd Party 5 by COPA Chicago on Vimeo

Another surveillance video from outside the train shows both officers talking to Roman before he tries to walk away, and one of the officers grabs his arm. A struggle ensues, and the officers tackle Roman to the ground, mostly out of sight of that camera.

A passenger's cell phone video of the struggle shows the officers struggling to hold down Roman and trying to handcuff him.  A shorter version of the cell phone video has been shared on social media, and viewed millions of times.

Log # 2020-0988 3rd Party 1 by COPA Chicago on Vimeo

In the video, an officer is heard yelling for Roman to "stop resisting" – something the officer screamed more than 10 times.

The officers then both deploy their Tasers. But Roman breaks free, staggers to his feet and appears to wipe his face, apparently from pepper spray.

Bogard then steps back and pulls her weapon and yells, "Sir, put your f***ing hands down!" as Butler yells, "Shoot him!"

Seconds later, Bogard draws her weapon and shoots Roman. After that first shot, Roman runs up the escalator, the officers give chase, and a second shot rings out off camera.

Various surveillance cameras from the busy Grand station in River North show passengers fleeing after the shots ring out, and other police officers arriving on scene.

While there is no body camera video from Bogard or Butler, body cameras from several other officers show the aftermath at the top of the escalator.

Roman has sued the city and the officers for excessive force.

Civil rights attorney Greg Kulis has said the cell phone video of the shooting clearly shows the officers were not properly trained in using de-escalation tactics or the proper use of force.

"You don't pull out a weapon and start blazing at a mass transit station," said attorney Greg Kulis.

Last month, Kulis added: "Unfortunately for the public, untrained unqualified inexperienced officers were put in a crowded public place. This was a result of the choices that these officers made to use deadly force, which was unwarranted."

Attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez has said Roman has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and began suffering a panic attack while riding a Red Line train that day.

Roman's attorneys said, while he has acknowledged moving between the cars of a CTA train -- which is a violation of city ordinance -- he did not commit any crime that would have warranted him being arrested, and was not armed or otherwise a threat to police or anyone else.

Roman was charged with resisting arrest and criminal drug charges after the shooting, but police later asked prosecutors to drop all charges.

"Ariel was unarmed, and the officers knew he was unarmed. He also did not commit a crime; it was a city ordinance violation. The officers – who are trained – should have relaxed, and chilled, and taken time, called backup. The notion that an officer would shoot her service revolver twice is astonishing," said Roman's attorney, Andrew Stroth.

Roman was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital after the shooting, and has had at least two surgeries. Rodriguez said the gunshot wound to his stomach destroyed the tissue connecting his bladder to his small intestine, and the bullet that hit him in the buttocks is still lodged in his back, and can't be removed, because it's too close to his sciatic nerve.

COPA has yet to make a recommendation on any possible disciplinary action against Bogard or Butler.

The FBI and the Cook County State's Attorney's office have opened criminal investigations into the shooting.

Use of force experts who reviewed the video with CBS 2's Megan Hickey have said the footage is problematic, particularly given that Roman was walking away when he was shot.

"The law simply doesn't allow what I saw in the video," said University of Pittsburgh law professor David A. Harris.

"I don't see him strike the officers. I don't see him at any time with a weapon," said Retired LAPD SWAT Sgt. Scott Defoe.

Both Harris and Defoe said the video does not suggest that Roman was a deadly threat. And police are not allowed to use deadly force to prevent an escape – which appeared to be what happened when the shot rang out as Roman ran up the escalator.

The lawsuit against the officers and the city seeks unspecified financial damages. Roman's attorneys said the city also needs to make sure all officers are properly trained, noting Bogard opened fire in a busy mass transit station, where an innocent bystander could have been shot over an incident that didn't require deadly force to begin with.


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