CCBF Statement on COPA’s Despicable Ruling on the Police Murder of Joshua Beal
Yesterday, COPA announced that it ruled the murder of Joshua Beal by off-duty Chicago Police officers justified. We are deeply disturbed by this decision, which is another slap in the face to the Beal family and all victims of police violence. Joshua was murdered in front of his family in a racist attack following a traffic incident in which an off-duty Chicago police officer cut the Beal family off while they were driving through Mount Greenwood as part of a funeral procession.
In the aftermath of Joshua’s murder, his brother Michael was arrested for disarming the man who killed his brother and who was, unbeknownst to him, a Chicago Police officer. Michael was given a $500,000 D-bond, meaning he needed $50,000 to be freed from Cook County Jail. CCBF worked with Black Lives Matter Chicago to pay Michael’s bond and support him while he fought his case. Well over a year later, all charges against Michael were dismissed.
The evening Joshua was killed and Michael was arrested, his family was terrorized by racist “Blue Lives Matter” supporters in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. Anti-Black bigots held a rally a week later in support of the officer that killed Joshua.
COPA’s decision to excuse the officer’s murder of Joshua Beal is indefensible. As long as the racist, violent actions of Chicago Police officers continue without accountability, more people will continue to be harmed.
In just the last month, five people have been killed by Chicago Police. Decisions like this one signal to Chicago Police officers that their white supremacist violence will be protected by the department’s “oversight” body, CPD leadership, local elected officials, and the courts.
We continue to demand justice for Joshua Beal and all victims of the violence committed by Chicago’s largest gang: the Chicago Police Department.