Residents of the South Shore area of Chicago took to the streets to protest against a police officer who shot and killed a popular neighborhood barber.
The man has been identified as 37-year-old Harith Augustus, also known as “Snoop” to those who knew him.
The Chicago Police Department claims that on Saturday officers saw “a man exhibiting characteristics of an armed person,” and when they tried to question him, a “confrontation” ensued. Shortly after, the officer shot him and he was pronounced dead at 5:50pm.
USA Today reported that Fred Waller, chief of the department’s patrol division, said “When they approached him, he tried to push their hands away, started flailing and swinging away, trying to make his escape, and as he tried to make his escape he reached for his weapon.”
He also said police recovered a semiautomatic firearm at the scene. However, some people on the ground claim that Augustus had a permit to carry a weapon. That, and Illinois is a conceal and carry state. But when asked by a reporter if Augustus had a permit, Waller said, “As we know now, he did not.”
According to a Chicago Sun Times reporter Nader Issa, “people outside the crime scene after the shooting claimed a female officer shot the man, a neighborhood barber, at least five times in the back as he ran away, and that the officer was taken away from the scene in a police vehicle afterward as the crowd formed.”
The crowd shouted,“Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”
They also got aggressive, throwing bottles and rocks at the CPD.
According to USA Today, “a scuffle later broke out at the scene of the shooting between chanting protesters and police officers holding batons” and police and protesters were shoving each other.
The officer who fatally shot the suspect will be placed on desk duty for the next 30 days, while the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates the shooting.
Meanwhile, friends of Augustus say he was a laid-back person.
“He was cool, laid back, very intelligent,”Gloria Rainge said.
Rainge, who witnessed the shooting, told the Chicago-Sun Times that police asked Augustus to not sell loose cigarettes, while he claimed he wasn’t selling them. She says that’s when the situation escalated.
South Sider Aldo Reyes stressed that these killings need to stop.
“Every time they kill one of us they’re doing an injustice to everybody. They feel the heat, they know they’re wrong.”