2012 Chicago Police Shooting Of Dakota Bright Ruled ‘Unprovoked’ And ‘Unwarranted’

Chicago's IPRA (Independent Police Review Authority) released a ruling this week regarding the shooting and killing of 15-year-old Dakota Bright, called the killing "unprovoked" and "unwarranted."

The ruling comes five years after Bright’s murder.

According to the Chicago Tribune, on November 8, 2012, Bright was returning to his grandmother’s home on the South Side of Chicago when a police officer responding to a nearby robbery shot him.

The officer later told officials that he saw Bright tucking a gun into his waistband. The officer said that Bright turned and ran when he saw the police, and that he chased Bright, gunning him down once the high schooler turned, reaching for his waist.

However, because of inconsistencies in the officer’s testimony, the IPRA questioned the legitimacy of his statement.

“Given that [Bright] in fact, had no firearm in his pants, it is unlikely that he would have made a gesture indicating that he did, particularly in light of the fact that he was approximately 50 feet away from the officer and was likely gaining ground on him,” IPRA wrote.

There was a gun recovered near the scene of Bright’s death, but it is unclear whether the gun belonged to Bright, or if it had been hidden by someone else.

The fact that Bright was shot in the back of the head also makes it unclear whether he was actually turning the face the officer before he was killed.

Due to the circumstances surrounding the boy’s death, the city of Chicago gave a $1 million settlement to the Bright family last year.

However, the investigation continues.

Though details regarding the officer’s name or status of his employment have not been disclosed to the public, the IPRA is cracking down to make sure justice is served.

Besides calling the attack “unwarranted,” the IPRA also stated that the unnamed officer “used an unreasonable and excessive amount of force when he shot [Bright],” according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Chicago’s police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, will review the allegations made by the IPRA and make his decision from there as to whether or not the officer will be charged.

At a Chicago Police Board meeting, Bright’s mother, Panzy Edwards, said, “I know they got to be defended,” they being the police, “But what about our kids that’s being taken? They deserve some defense, too.”

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