Chicago police say bodycam footage shows key difference in latest shooting

Bodycam video released Sunday shows the moments leading up to the deadly police shooting of an armed black man in Chicago. The shooting Saturday sparked days of protests, and police were unusually quick to release the footage in hopes of defusing the situation.

In the silent police video, four officers approach 37-year-old Harith Augustus on a Southside Chicago sidewalk. He pulls away when one officer tries to grab his wrist, revealing what police say is a semi-automatic weapon on his right hip. An officer opened fire when he appeared to reach for a gun.

"Decision to use lethal force is made in a split second. It is based on the safety of the officer and the surrounding community," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said.

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Chicago's police superintendent says he ordered the release of body camera footage from the shooting of a black man by officers quickly to address any misinformation and maintain calm in the city. 

Chicago Police

People who knew Augustus say he worked as a barber and had a 5-year-old daughter.

Demonstrators converged near the shooting site Saturday, throwing bottles and trash, jumping on a squad car and clashing with officers who responded with batons. There were four arrests and some officers were hurt.

On Sunday, dozens gathered again for a march. Some protesters said Saturday's incident was reminiscent of the deadly police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014. McDonald was shot 16 times as he walked away from police and was armed only with a pocket knife. Police video of that incident wasn't made public for more than a year. Three officers are now facing charges for allegedly lying in an attempt to cover it up; they have pleaded not guilty.

Police say video of Saturday's shooting shows a key difference: Harith Augustus was armed.