In the USA, a debate about racism and police violence is flaring up again. Reason: Officers fire nearly 100 shots at a black man during a traffic stop in Chicago – he dies. The incident occurred in a residential neighborhood back on March 21, but the Chicago Office of Police Accountability (COPA) only released the bodycam footage of the officers involved until now. The family of the 26-year-old who was killed is calling for further clarification.

According to COPA’s initial findings, the man first fired a shot himself, hitting a police officer in the forearm after five officers stopped him. Lawyers for the family say the police officers appeared in civilian clothing. The video footage shows them moving toward the man’s car with weapons drawn.

First they ask him to roll down his window and then to open the door – according to authorities, he was stopped for not wearing a seat belt. The images show how the man apparently does not immediately follow the instructions, a shot is heard and the situation escalates within a very short time.

COPA said officers fired approximately 96 times at the man over 41 seconds, even as he opened the car door and fell to the ground. According to reports, he was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead there. A weapon was later discovered in his passenger seat.

COPA said the investigation was ongoing. The FBI and the US Department of Justice would be informed about the progress. They have also asked that four officers be relieved of their police powers for the time being.

The family of the man killed discussed the circumstances of the traffic stop. The officers never identified themselves, their lawyer said at a news conference. They were police officers in hoodies and baseball caps, and the police car was also unmarked.

“We have a problem with policing in this city,” another attorney said. Five officers “jumped out of a car armed for a young man who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.”

Deadly police operations of a similar nature occur regularly in the USA. A representative example of this is the case of George Floyd, which triggered national protests a few years ago. In May 2020, the African American died in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis.

Videos documented how police officers pushed the unarmed man to the ground. White officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for a good nine minutes while Floyd pleaded to let him breathe. The case led to nationwide protests against police violence and racism.