Watch CBS News

COPA Releases Video, Documents In Incident Where Off-Duty Officer Fired Gun On Southwest Side; Officer Joseph Cabrera Has Been Charged

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Civilian Office of Police Accountability on Thursday released video and other materials from an incident in which an officer fired his weapon on the Southwest Side back in October.

The officer, Joseph Cabrera, has been charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and disorderly conduct in the incident.

The investigation so far indicates that on Oct. 13, Cabrera got into a quarrel with someone near 52nd Street and Monitor Avenue in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, and ended up firing his gun at a civilian. No injuries were reported.

COPA notified the Cook County State's Attorney's office and police Supt. David Brown three days later of the need for a criminal review of the incident.

Cabrera was arrested just after 6 a.m. Wednesday by the Chicago Police Bureau of Internal Affairs and has been relieved of his police powers, police said Wednesday.

At a bond hearing Wednesday, Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz denied a request by Cabrera's attorney for COPA to withhold video and other related materials.

The nighttime police body camera video released Thursday documents what happened after the gunfire incident.

One of them shows a man, not Cabrera, in the back of a squad car telling responding officers that he had been in a quarrel with another man who got aggressive. The man in the back of the squad car admits to punching the other man after that man put his finger in his face and grabbed his neck. The man tells officers after he punched the other man, the other man "pulled a f***ing gun on me and shot me," though he later says he was not hit by any gunshots.

Officers tell the man he is not under arrest and they are just trying to figure out what happened. They also examine him to make sure he has not been shot.

Another video from a short time earlier shows the same man being put at handcuffs and getting upset – pointing out he was the one who was shot at. The man also complains when the officers place him in the back of the squad car, repeating, "He shot at me!"

That man's girlfriend also talks to officers, telling them a "weird guy" or "weird cop" had been following them and asked them for no apparent reason if they had needed an ambulance, and had then gone on to shoot at the man.

"This guy just comes at his face. He didn't have to shoot at him," the woman says.

Cabrera is not heard from in the videos.

COPA also released the original case report for a simple battery, which identifies Cabrera as the victim and the other man as the suspect. Cabrera is now accused of making a false statement about what happened.

Anyone with information or relevant video on this incident is asked to call (312) 743-COPA (2672) or email

Also From CBS Chicago:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.