The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) has recently unveiled a fresh Leevon Smith video that sheds light on a January 18 incident involving an off-duty police officer and Smith himself.
The footage reveals that the officer had intervened in a scuffle between four men, including Smith, who is 39 years old, on the 1300 block of West 90th Street.
While three of the men walked away after being instructed to calm down, Smith persisted in staying with the officer.
Following a brief conversation, Smith attempted to grab the officer, triggering a physical altercation where he tried to snatch her weapon. The officer’s gun went off in the ensuing struggle, striking Smith as they both fell to the ground.
According to a press release from COPA, Smith “grabbed her from behind and reached for her weapon, which resulted in a physical struggle.”
In the video, the officer can be heard telling Smith that she would kill him.
In the original video, Smith can be heard begging for his life, saying: ‘Damn, baby, I’m sorry. I don’t wanna die.’ After firing a second shot, Smith said, “Oh s***, you got me.”
As she screamed for neighbors to call 911, the officer shouts at Smith: ‘I told your dumb a**, I’d kill you.’ She then fires a third and final shot.
The officer claimed that Smith had attempted to rob her and take her gun after she intervened to stop the fight. Smith was taken into custody and brought to a medical center, where he was pronounced dead on January 20.
According to an arrest report, Smith was shot in the left hand and abdomen. Smith was taken into custody and brought to Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on January 20.
The officer, who had joined the force in June, has not faced any charges and was placed on routine administrative duties for 30 days.
An arrest report revealed that the officer claimed Smith had grabbed her from behind and reached for her weapon during a verbal argument, leading her to shoot him.
The report further stated that Smith posed an “imminent threat of battery” without a weapon and physically attacked the officer in an attempt to obtain her gun.
Smith’s sister, Tequila Smith, filed a lawsuit against the city and the officer for $10 million on February 3, alleging that the officer used excessive force and should have known it was unnecessary under the circumstances.
The lawsuit also stated that Smith’s death resulted in medical and funeral expenses and caused his family to suffer mental anguish and loss of companionship.
The video footage has renewed calls for police accountability and transparency, particularly in cases involving using force against black people.
The incident is one of several that have sparked protests across the US and renewed calls for police reform.