The headline is an attention grabber and seems to promise some kind of cover-up: Man announces lawsuit for wrongful police shooting. Minutes later, he’s arrested for murder. But as the details emerge - which happens only in the last third of the story - a fair-minded reader might wonder whether the police really ought to have shot Mr. Dominiq Greer a few more times and much sooner.
Minutes after he announced a $15 million lawsuit against the city of Chicago and two police officers for a shooting that left him with seven gunshot wounds, a 25-year-old man was taken into custody on a murder warrant.
Dominiq Greer told reporters in Chicago that he was shot multiple times as he ran from police on July 4, 2014, according to the Chicago Tribune. He had just stepped outside the office building where his news conference was held Wednesday when an unmarked police vehicle pulled up and a pair of officers arrested him, the Tribune reported.
Greer was arrested on an outstanding murder warrant for a killing on the South Side of Chicago on May 27, a police spokesman told The Washington Post. The victim, a 22-year-old man named Kevin Larry, sustained a fatal gunshot wound, the spokesman said.
-- snip --
On Wednesday, [Greer] told reporters police should have chased him instead of shooting at him.
“They should have did their job and try to catch me instead of shooting me,” he said. “If I ain’t never bring no harm to you, why would you bring harm to me.”
“He was just standing around with two of his friends in the street, he sees the police roll up and he takes off,” [Greer’s attorney, Eugene] Hollander added, according to the Sun-Times. “When you’re an African-American in Englewood, it’s understandable.”
Okay, so he was hanging out with two friends when the police rolled up. Were the two friends also African-American men in Englewood, and did they also take off running at the sight of the police? We do not find out. But, a couple paragraphs on, we do find out why Mr. Greer had reason to run.
Greer has accumulated at least 20 arrests since 2007, the majority for marijuana or trespassing charges that were eventually dropped, according to court records reviewed by the Tribune.
The paper also reported:
He is currently free on bail on an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge stemming from the 2014 police shooting. He pleaded guilty to a domestic battery case in 2013 and was given probation, but that probation was later revoked and he was sentenced to 45 days in jail. He also pleaded guilty in 2011 to a felony charge for marijuana possession and was given two years’ probation.
At Wednesday’s news conference, Greer said he was initially carrying a handgun, but threw the weapon away and posed no threat during his 2014 encounter with police, according to Fox affiliate WFLD.
The first three shots came as he fled, he said, the last four while he was on the ground.
Why did he run from officers?
“I feared for my life, because I see how Chicago police acts every day,” Greer said, according to USA Today.
He ran for fear of his life, and also because he was an ex-con in possession of an illegal firearm. That's plenty of reason to run from the police. And, don't forget, he was totally unarmed at the precise moment the police shot him.
Understandably, Mr. Greer accuses the police of unsportsmanlike conduct.
Greer said Wednesday that he remained conscious during his encounter with police and even questioned their behavior.
“I asked why is they shooting me this many times,” he said, according to the Tribune. “I thought I was fixin’ to die.”
“If you had to shoot me to catch me … that’s bad,” he added.
So, if only the police officers had been up to Mr. Greer's level of aerobic fitness, they might have avoided the whole unpleasantness of shooting him seven times. Got it.
But wait, there's more.
Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority told a very different story, according to the Tribune. The Authority claims that after Greer tossed his weapon, it hit the ground and discharged, causing Greer to stumble and hit the ground.
“Officer A ordered Subject 1 to show his hands and told him not to move,” the IPRA report states. “[Greer] ignored Officer A’s verbal direction and stood up with his hands concealed. In fear for his life, Officer A fired his weapon, striking [Greer] multiple times.”
“On hearing the gunshot, the officer reacted by opening fire, according to the IPRA findings,” the report continues. “The officer ordered Greer to raise his hands, but when he failed to do so, the officer fired again, IPRA said.”
Things would have turned out better for the "22-year old man named Kevin Larry" whom Greer subsequently killed had the officer fired a few times more.