Protests Erupt After Chicago Police Claim Teen Committed Suicide Following Chase
The death of 15-year-old Steven Rosenthal has led many to protest and question Chicago authorities who allege the teen committed suicide following a police chase.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the teen died Friday evening (Aug. 17) in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood. The Cook County medical examiner has ruled Steven’s death a suicide, from a gunshot wound to the head. While detailing the event, law enforcement said the teen ran after cops questioned him about a weapon he had. A short while later, Steven died.
Yet members of the community chanting “no justice, no peace,” as they marched don’t believe the cop’s version of events. The family attorney Andrew Stroth also questions the validity of the claim.
“Steven was on the stairwell of his grandmother’s house on the West Side of Chicago when police officers stormed up the stairwell chasing,” Stroth, said at a news conference prior to Sunday’s march. “Within moments, these officers, without cause or provocation, shot and killed 15-year old Steven. Based on several eyewitness accounts, these officers ended the hopes and the dreams of a talented young man with a bright future.”
Steven’s aunt and legal guardian gave a tearful public plea to Mayor Rahm Emanuel begging for the release of body cam footage to corroborate the police’s claim.
“My 15-year old nephew Steven was shot and killed by the Chicago Police Department,” Terinica Thomas-Level, 28, said. “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 he (Emanuel) even had the smallest compassion for our family, he’d get those videotapes released.”
As of Sunday, police spokesman Michael Carroll said the case is currently under investigation and a decision hasn’t been made about releasing any footage of the encounter.