Videos Show Chicago Police Firing 96 Shots in Less Than 1 Minute During Deadly Traffic Stop

Dexter Reed was killed during the stop

<p>Dexter Reed/Facebook</p> Dexter Reed

Dexter Reed/Facebook

Dexter Reed

Chicago police officers fired 96 gunshots in 41 seconds during a deadly traffic stop on the city's west side on March 21, according to the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). Authorities claim Dexter Reed Jr. fired first, and they released body camera footage that showed several officers returning fire. Reed was killed in the shootout.

One police officer was shot in the arm during the incident, COPA says in a release that accompanied the release of footage and documents related to the shootout. COPA claims Reed was stopped for purportedly not wearing a seatbelt.

“Review of video footage and initial reports appears to confirm that Mr. Reed fired first, striking the officer and four officers returned fire,” the office says in its release. “Available preliminary evidence also confirms that officers returned fire approximately 96 times over a period of 41 seconds, including after Mr. Reed exited his vehicle and fell to the ground.”

According to the body cam footage reviewed by PEOPLE, plainclothes officers can be heard ordering Reed to roll down his window. He initially complies before starting to roll the window back. An officer then tries to open Reed’s driver’s side door, which was locked.

The same officer began ordering Reed to open the door and pulled out her gun, according to the footage. After yelling out repeated orders to unlock the door, a shot is heard and the officers respond by firing dozens of shots toward Reed’s vehicle. It is not clear from the videos if the first shot was fired by Reed.

In a video taken from one of the involved officers’ body cam, Reed can be seen outside the vehicle, at which point he is struck by shots, including at least one fired after he had already collapsed on the ground behind his car.

COPA says a gun was found in the passenger’s seat of Reed’s vehicle.

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According to reports from the Associated Press, CBS News and the Chicago Tribune, before releasing the body cam footage, COPA’s administrator Andrea Kersten sent a letter to Chicago police superintendent Larry Snelling expressing “serious concerns about the validity of the traffic stop,” and recommending that the officers involved be relieved of their police powers during the investigations.

In the reported letter, Kersten noted that Reed’s vehicle had dark tinted windows that would have made it difficult for the officers to see inside.

The AP reported that the officers had been placed on leave and that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office was investigating to see if there would be any criminal charges filed.

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