Apr 15, 2024 - News

Police officers involved in Dexter Reed shooting had past complaints

Woman holds poster with photos of Dexter Reed.

At a rally last week, Porscha Banks, center right, sister of Dexter Reed, holds a sign showing her brother. Photo: Terrence Antonio James/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A week after officials released video of the police shooting that killed 26-year-old Dexter Reed and wounded an officer, new details and rifts are emerging.

Why it matters: New documents shed light on past complaints against the officers involved, issues with the traffic stop that preceded the shooting, and Reed's own history.

Catch up quick: Last Tuesday, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced investigations into the March 21 shooting, along with State's Attorney Kim Foxx and COPA chief Andrea Kersten, who said evidence suggests Reed fired first after he was stopped for a seatbelt violation.

  • Several of the 11th District officers involved in Reed's shooting are under investigation for additional complaints of alleged misconduct during traffic stops, documents obtained by Block Club show.

Zoom in: Reed had been recovering from injuries he suffered during a 2021 family altercation that left him in a coma, according to the Tribune.

  • He was representing himself in multiple lawsuits including against the city and Mount Sinai Hospital for mistreatment while he was in a coma, the Tribune reported.

Between the lines: The case is increasing tensions between COPA and police.

  • CPD superintendent Larry Snelling has refused to strip the officers involved of their police powers despite COPA's recommendation to do so in an April letter.
  • The letter also raises "serious concerns about the validity of the traffic stop" given Reed's tinted windows and the officers' limited view inside his car.

By the numbers: Pretextual traffic stops — including for seatbelt violations — were used by the CPD 537,000 times in 2023, according to an analysis by social justice group Impact for Equity.

  • More than 10% of those stops were made in the 11th District, where just 2% of the city lives.
  • Black drivers are six times as likely to be stopped as white drivers, per the report.
  • Citywide, only 3.7% of traffic stops resulted in citations, and 0.75% resulted in discovery of contraband.

What they're saying: Snelling said that so far in 2024, the stops have dropped by 46,000 over the same period last year.


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