Chicago police initially claimed they opened fire on a group of men standing on a sidewalk after one of the men started shooting at them first, making them fear for their lives.
But that story fell apart after prosecutors viewed a surveillance video contradicting their claims, showing the two plainclothes cops shooting an unarmed 23-year-old man from their unmarked car.
Now Christopher Liakopoulos, a sergeant, and Ruben Reynoso are facing 30 years in prison after they were charged with several felonies last week, including aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and official misconduct, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The man they shot, Miguel Medina, 23, was holding a bottle of wine and a phone in his right hand when he was shot. He survived the shooting.
Another male involved in the incident was a 17-year-old boy who took off running after the cops started shooting and who began firing his own gun at the cops, prompting them to return fire, but he was not struck by gunfire.
However, a 35-year-old man who was not involved in the incident was grazed by a bullet in the crossfire.
Before they were charged with felonies, the cops wanted to charge the 17-year-old with attempted murder. But judging from the video, the teen may not have known they were cops.
The incident took place on July 22 as the two cops were in an unmarked car driving to the Chicago Police Academy.
The video shows they sped past the location of the shooting before placing the car in reverse and returning to the stop by driving backwards. The car then stops in the street, forcing approaching traffic to have to drive around them.
Seconds later, the victim walks into the lower left video frame with the teenager walking behind him. The two males stop on the sidewalk and have a short conversation as the unmarked cop car drives a few more feet in reverse in their direction.
The two males continue walking as the cop car continues moving in reverse before coming to a stop directly across from them.
Moments later, Reynoso is sticking his gun out the window from the passenger seat and shooting. Liakopoulos who was driving was also firing his gun by reaching across Reynoso, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The video shows the teenager run away as soon as he saw the guns pointed at them. He also appears to have removed his gun from a satchel he was wearing across his body because the video shows it in his hand as he is running away when the gun was not previously visible in his hand.
As the teen ran off, Medina lifted his empty left hand to show them he was not armed while holding his right arm to his side, the phone and wine bottle clearly visible.
The cops initially claimed they spotted four people loitering in front of a store and they stopped to investigate, identifying themselves as police when one of them pulled a gun and opened fire, prompting the officers to return fire.
The initial surveillance video contained no audio but investigators from the Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability obtained other surveillance videos that contained audio but were not pointed in the direction of the incident.
We’ve combined the audio to the video which captures the gunshots but did not record any significant words between the cops and the victims prior to the shooting. Watch the video below.