Building Custodian Michael Craig Called 911 Saying Wife Had Knife To His Throat, But Craig Was The One Shot And Killed By Police
CHICAGO (CBS) -- In a call to 911 for help last month, Auburn Gresham building custodian Michael Craig said his wife had a knife to his throat.
But Craig was the one police shot and killed.
Body camera video of the incident was released late Wednesday by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
CBS 2's Tara Molina also talked to Craig's family and attorney. They are calling for justice, and a change to how the CPD responds to mental illness and domestic violence.
Craig was shot and killed by a Chicago Police officer on the morning of Monday, Oct. 4 in a building in the 7700 block of South Carpenter Street. The officer was responding to a domestic call.
Police at the time said when they arrived at the scene and opened the door of a top-floor apartment, they saw a domestic dispute with a knife in progress.
"The officers observed a domestic disturbance, a domestic altercation coming from within," Deputy Chief Rahman Muhammad said at th etime. "At that point, shots were fired. The responding officer discharged his service weapon, striking an individual."
In his 911 call that morning, Craig said, "My wife's got a knife on me on the bed – right now, on my throat."
Craig continued in the call: "She got the knife on my neck. I can't move. If I move, she's going to kill me."
Craig told dispatch his son was home scared and would hold the door for police. He is heard telling his son to go downstairs.
"I've got the front door open. Tell the officers the door is open. My kid is holding the door," Craig tells the dispatcher. He then tells his son: "Go downstairs so you can let the police in. Go! Do like I say! Go downstairs."
That was where police found the 7-year-old boy - like we reported when this happened in early October - as officers walk up to the building.
When officers are seen arriving at the apartment building in bodycam video, they ask the boy, "Somebody has a knife? Who has the knife?" and the child replies, "My mama."
The officer continues: "What is she doing with the knife? Do you know what she's doing with the knife? Who told you to call?"
The boy replies, "My daddy."
The officers ask the boy to direct them to the apartment and stay outside. The officers then proceed up the stairs.
When officers reach the apartment, the officer whose body cam is running is holding a Taser in one hand and a handgun in the other.
Screams are heard as the officers enter, and a man and woman are seen rolling on the floor fighting in the bathroom doorway.
The officer fires both the Taser and the gun, and Craig is hit. The officer grabs a knife from the floor and officer then drags the woman away from Craig and immediately starts checking on her – asking if she's hurt and where Craig stabbed her.
But it was Craig who was bleeding as he lay in the bathroom doorway. The woman is lying outside the bathroom and the officer asks if she can talk, but does not speak. We now know she was not injured.
The officer does not attend to Craig. His family's attorney brought that up following the video's release.
"Treating her like the victim of domestic violence – when the real victim of domestic violence, and the victim of the Chicago Police Department, lay dying two feet away," said attorney Michael Oppenheimer.
Oppenheimer said Craig had already been stabbed by his wife several times before police arrived.
"We are demanding that the Chicago Police Department take action against this police officer, and train their police officers how to handle mental illness and how to handle domestic violence," Oppenheimer said.
As for Craig's 7-year-old son, the boy's uncle, Patrick Jenkins, said the boy is holding up and going to school. But Jenkins said it has not been easy, and no one from the city has stepped in to address what he went through that day.
"The school that he's attending actually just reached out. They always reach out – they ask. They're concerned," Jenkins said. "Family members are concerned. But as far as anyone from outside sources helping, stepping in? Nothing."
Police said the officer who fired the shots involved was placed on 30-day administrative leave pending the investigation. They did not provide further information on the officer's status.
COPA asked anyone with information to contact them at (312) 746-3609, or go to chicagcopa.org for more information.
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