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Expert: Discrepancy is serious between Supt. Brown's and COPA's accounts of police shooting

Questions persist about circumstances of police shooting that killed man in Irving Park
Questions persist about circumstances of police shooting that killed man in Irving Park 02:53

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A memorial was growing Friday night in an Irving Park neighborhood alley where a man was shot and killed by police this week – and questions surrounding the circumstances of the shooting are growing along with it.

As CBS 2'S Charlie De Mar reported, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said hours after the shooting early Wednesday morning that the man – 21-year-old Isidro Valverde – had fired shots during the confrontation. But the Civilian Office of Police Accountability later said it was not certain whether Valverde fired shots.

Valverde lives a little less than a mile from the scene of the shooting – in an alley off the 3700 block of North Troy Street.

Late Friday, flowers, balloons, candles, and other mementoes have been set up at the scene to help family and friends mourn.

Since 2020, Valverde had been arrested three times on drug charges and fleeing officers. It is unclear how those cases were resolved.

This week, two officers spotted Valverde walking after reports that  he had pointed a gun at a security guard at Christina's Place, at 3759 N. Kedzie Ave. at Grace Street, heard people arguing and saw a man point a gun at other people.

"I stepped outside to see what was going on and the young man pulled out a gun on me," the guard said – who went by his last name of Miranda – said this week. "And he pointed it at me and told me, 'You know, I'm this type of gang, I'm this type of gang.' I told him, I said -- put my hands up in the air -- and said: 'Brother, we're not about that. All we are is about serving liquor and having a good time.' And that's where it ended."

Miranda told CBS 2 he called police, and when the officers found Miranda, a chase began in the alley. COPA said Valverde fell and was told to stay on the ground.

COPA, the agency that investigates shootings involving police, said, "As the individual began to get up, both officer discharged their firearms multiple times, striking the individual, who was pronounced deceased on the scene."

Police Supt. Brown said the suspect fired shots.

"From what we know now, based on looking at the body-worn camera, the offender fired his weapon, and the officers fired their weapons," Brown said Wednesday morning.

But COPA casts doubt on Brown, saying in part, "It is unclear, nor has it been determined by COPA, if the individual discharged his weapon at police." 

University of Chicago Law Professor Craig Futterman said this discrepancy is serious.

"That's a big deal. I hope what COPA is doing here signifies a real break from the past," said Futterman, who specializes in police accountability. "This is important. COPA is correcting misinformation that was provided by the superintendent, and that's showing what it means to be committed to public transparency."

The discrepancy in the facts, Futterman said, could be a major blow to the department.

"How do you build trust? Is by telling the truth; by being open; by being transparent," Futterman said.

We spoke to Valverde's father off camera. He was devastated, and he told us he spoke with COPA several times on Thursday.

While the city has 60 days to release video in this case, we have filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the video ahead of that deadline.

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