June 09–In announcing a $15 million lawsuit over his shooting two years ago by Chicago police, Dominiq Greer told reporters Wednesday he’d never been accused of a violent offense in his life.
Moments later, he was arrested on a warrant for murder.
The bizarre turn of events unfolded shortly after Greer wrapped up a lengthy news conference in his lawyer’s Loop offices. As the 25-year-old Greer left the high-rise in the 200 block of West Monroe Street to get a lift from a ride-sharing service, an unmarked police vehicle pulled up and two officers took him into custody on a warrant accusing him in a fatal shooting from just a week and a half ago.
For nearly the previous hour, Greer and his lawyer, Eugene Hollander, had taken questions in a crowded conference room about the lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday over his being shot seven times by a police officer during a chase on the Fourth of July in 2014.
Hollander released video from a private security camera that captured the shooting and part of the chase.
The two said police had no legal justification to shoot Greer because he posed no immediate threat to the officers. But Greer acknowledged that he was armed with a handgun when police first approached him and he took off running out of fear of being arrested.
During the chase, Greer said he attempted to toss the gun, but an investigation by the police oversight agency found that the gun had discharged on hitting the ground, causing one officer to open fire in reaction.
The Independent Police Review Authority, much maligned for the quality of its investigations in the fallout over the video of the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald, cleared the officers of wrongdoing, finding their actions reasonable and within the department’s use-of-force policy.
Days after the 2014 shooting, then-police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Greer was a suspect in a slaying and a second shooting and should not be on the street. He was not charged in those attacks, however.
“The police can do whatever they want to do,” Greer told reporters Wednesday. “When they kill somebody, they right back out on the streets doing whatever they do. If the next black man kill a black man, they got to go serve time.”
A Cook County judge issued the warrant for Greer’s arrest May 29, two days after the slaying. In seeking the judge’s approval, prosecutors alleged that officers, responding to a call of shots fired May 27 in the 5600 block of South Wabash Avenue, found Kevin Larry, 22, dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Witnesses told police several people lived in the abandoned house at the time and that a dice game was being played just before the shooting, according to prosecutors.
Greer has an extensive criminal record, having compiled at least 20 arrests since 2007 but mostly for minor marijuana or trespassing charges that were later dropped, according to court records. He was convicted in 2011 of cannabis possession and pleaded guilty in 2013 to domestic battery and was sentenced to probation.
Following the police shooting in 2014, Greer was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and served seven months in jail until he was released on bail while awaiting trial, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office. Last August, Greer was arrested and charged with felony domestic battery, Daly said. He was in custody for two months for violation of bail, but he was again released in October. Both charges are still pending.
In the nearly two-minute black-and-white video from 2014, Greer can be seen running in an alley in the 7400 block of South Vincennes Avenue and trying to throw a handgun toward the roof of a building. He then stumbles and falls — the point at which he is shot the first time, Hollander said.
As Greer tries to get up from the ground, four uniformed officers can be seen approaching him with their weapons drawn. As Greer falls on the ground in a dark shadowy area, the one officer shoots him four more times, Hollander said.
The video contains no audio.
According to IPRA, after Greer’s gun discharged, the officer reacted by opening fire himself. The officer then ordered Greer to raise his hands, but when Greer failed to do so, the officer fired again, IPRA said. He fired eight shots in all, seven of which struck Greer — in his right arm, right leg, left toe, back, chest, stomach and left arm.
Greer said he was conscious during the entire encounter.
“I asked why is they shooting me this many times,” he said. “I thought I was fixin’ to die.
After the shooting, Greer was treated at Stroger Hospital for eight days, he said.
Greer, who said he had been working at one time as a custodian in a government building, indicated that he has suffered permanent physical injuries and can no longer work.
“I’m traumatized. I’m messed up,” he said. “I can’t do nothing no more. I just got problems.”
Chicago Tribune’s Jason Meisner, Liam Ford and Angela Caputo contributed.
(c)2016 the Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.