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Chicago police commissioner says officers in Dexter Reed shooting won’t be stripped of their police powers anytime soon

CHICAGO (CBS) – Days after the release of dozens of videos related to the police shooting Dexter Reed during a traffic stop last month, Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling was asked about the shooting on Friday.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) is investigating the shooting. The agency believes, based on preliminary evidence, that Reed first shot at officers, but… there are still many unknowns about the behavior of the officials involved.

Investigators were still looking into why Chicago police had stopped Reed in the first place and why a tactical team had conducted the traffic stop for a seat belt violation.

“A police officer was shot. A man lost his life,” Snelling said during a press conference on Friday.

In his first appearance since the public saw and heard five Chicago police officers fire 96 shots in 41 seconds, striking and killing 26-year-old Reed during the traffic stop, Snelling said the officers will retain their police powers, at least for now.

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“I will not make a decision to strip officers until that investigation is complete,” Snelling said.

The chief inspector appeared to disagree with COPA, the agency investigating the murder. COPA had recommended that the officers be stripped of their police powers as the investigation continues, in part because the same tactical group was looked at for another traffic stop a few weeks ago.

Snelling said Friday that COPA had yet to interview the officers.

“We need to have a proper investigation, and it needs to be fair across the board,” he said. “Nothing and no one should be tried in a court of public opinion. So my concern is that the integrity of the investigation is not compromised and that all evidence is collected and reviewed.”

One of the officers involved in the traffic stop is only 23 years old. Snelling was asked how that person ended up on a specialized tactical team.

“This is something we look at and if something happens we make the assessments and this is part of my training background,” Snelling said. “I’m watching gametime film. Where can we improve?”

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The chief added that the Chicago Police Department recently started using a dashboard that they plan to use to monitor personnel with multiple complaints. It is intended to alert the chief inspector and his office so they can take action based on what they see.

CBS 2 investigates whether that dashboard will be made public and what role COPA may play in compiling it.

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