An off-duty police officer in Chicago killed a man on Saturday night after a fight that ensued after the man’s 4-year old daughter had been injured by the officer’s motorcycle. The officer was going home on Saturday night when he claims that 4-year old Taniyah Middleton got in the way of his bike.
He says that he jumped off the bike to avoid hitting the 4-year old, but the bike slid and hit the girl and her 18-year old cousin.
The girl’s father, Christopher came out of a restaurant when he saw the accident and allegedly attacked the officer. That’s when the man was shot by the officer’s gun.
“Chris was a great father,” Middleton’s cousin Mathis Hoskin told ABC’s Chicago affiliate WLS. “He was always helpful, never mad – always happy with a smile on his face.”
Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, says that the officer was not at fault and the girl’s father needed to be shot that night.
“He was on his way home and a 4-year-old ran out into traffic,” said Camden. “He had a choice of hitting her head-on or dumping his bike and taking the personal injury to avoid hitting the 4-year old – which he did. But as he dumped the bike, it slid across the road. She wound up getting nicked by the bike. He wound up with a broken ankle, a dislocated shoulder.”
“After the accident he gets up and the girl’s father became irate with him and comes over to him,” Camden continued. “The officer tells him, ‘I’m the police. Take it easy.’ The guy says, ‘I don’t give a [bleep] who you are’ and hits him in the face. Another man hits him from behind. The officer goes to the ground. They’re beating him and he’s about to lose consciousness. He pulls his weapon to defend himself at that point, fires one shot, and kills one of the individuals who happens to be the father of the 4-year-old.”
“Had the father simply stood there instead of attacking a police officer he might be alive today,” Camden stated.
Middleton’s relatives say that the father’s actions are understandable. They also say that the officer never identified himself to be with the police force after the incident.
“Of course a father would be upset at the initial reaction of seeing the child in this condition and he confronted the guy and they got into a confrontation,” Middleton’s uncle Darrell Davis told WLS.
“He never let anyone know he was a police officer until after he shot him,” witness Cordell Haggard said to WLS.
The girl and the officer were taken to the hospital after the incident. Chicago police say the situation is under investigation.