A family wants to see body cam footage after the Chicago Police Department claimed a teenager killed himself during a police chase.
The department claims its officers approached 15-year-old Steven Rosenthal on Friday, August 17, after they allegedly saw him holding a handgun, BuzzFeed News reports.
The officers claim Rosenthal ran after they approached him. They gave chase and said he shot himself in the stairwell of his home.
A medical examiner’s report states Rosenthal died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Additionally, the police department claims none of its officers discharged their weapons.
Rosenthal’s devastated family doesn’t believe the police’s story. During a press conference, Andrew Stroth, the family’s attorney, said the family wants a “full, independent and transparent investigation” of the incident, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“The medical examiner has not released Steven’s body,” Stroth said. “The family is demanding to see the body, the family is demanding to see the evidence, the family is demanding to see the supposed, alleged weapon that was on the scene. The family deserves justice, and that’s what the family is fighting for.”
Rosenthal’s aunt, Terinica Thomas, swore her nephew was not suicidal.
“My 15-year-old nephew Steven was shot and killed by the Chicago Police Department,” Thomas said through tears. “I need the attention of Mayor Emanuel. I need to see evidence. Body cams. They need to release the video. My nephew would never commit suicide ever. … If [Emanuel] even had the smallest compassion for our family, he’d get those videotapes released.”
The police department claims no footage of the shooting exists. However, department leaders have promised to release some footage at some point.
“Any time you have a juvenile involved in releasing video, it’s different,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, said according to CBS Chicago. “So we’ll look at everything, and when feasible and lawfully we’re able to. Certainly, we would like the family to see it first.”