- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy believes a district commander and an officer were justified in fatally shooting a driver over the weekend, despite the police department’s new restrictions on firing into vehicles, he said Monday at a press conference.

Ogden District Cmdr. Frank Valadez and his partner were patrolling an area on the city’s West Side about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when they saw someone shoot into a vehicle from an SUV. The officers then began to pursue the SUV, police said.

“At one point the car is kind of stopping, and at one point appears they are going to jump out and run,” McCarthy said of the incident.

“There is video of this,” he said. “Cmdr. Valadez and the other officer get out of the car. The other guy slams his car into reverse and Cmdr. Valadez had to dive back into his own car to keep from getting run over by the vehicle.”

Then Valadez and the other officer chased the SUV into a parking lot, McCarthy said.

“They know there is a gun in the car,” he said. “And the windows start to come down. And that’s when they (Valadez and the officer) opened up.”

“Cmdr. Valadez and his partner, a police officer, fired a number of times into the vehicle and unfortunately killed one of the individuals who was driving the vehicle,” McCarthy said.

The driver was Rafael Cruz Jr., 29, of Chicago and he was shot once in the back, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Under department policy, officers are allowed to use force to prevent death or bodily injury or to prevent an arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape, the Chicago Sun-Times (https://bit.ly/1LIRqNr ) reported. Earlier this year, McCarthy revised the department’s policy on the use of deadly force to prohibit officers from “firing at or into a moving vehicle when the vehicle is the only force used against the sworn member or another person.”

McCarthy said it appears the officers followed the policy.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, https://chicago.suntimes.com/


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