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Johnson shooting controversy escalates, video released and no criminal charges filed

No criminal charges will be filed against the Chicago police officer involved in the shooting death of a 25-year-old black man on the South Side, Ronald Johnson, announced Cook County state’s attorney, Anita Alvarez.

Ronald Johnson was fatally shot five times on Oct. 12, 2014 by officer George Hernandez in the 5300 block of South King Drive while running away from officials. The video was released earlier on Monday by the city of Chicago, 14 months after the incident occurred and following several blocked attempts to release the video before.

The point of conflict in the case is whether Johnson had a gun or not. The video, which is blurry and did not include audio, has been interpreted differently by both sides. Johnson’s family attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, says that the video shows there is no gun and that the gun recovered as evidence is linked to another shooting from 2013. Alvarez argues the opposite—that a gun is clearly in sight and that officers have said Johnson had pointed it at officials, resulting in Hernandez’ firing.

The Independent Police Review Authority is still investigating the shooting.