Hostile crowd confronts police, sparking memories of similar incident that was caught on video

Anthony Gates, with his hands cuffed behind his back, runs from a police officer in March 2019. | CPD

Two Chicago police officers who chased an armed man near the scene of a triple shooting in the Armour Square neighborhood Tuesday night found themselves in a precarious position. While they seized a gun from the man and placed him into custody, a hostile crowd approached “yelling profanities while threatening to harm them if they did not let the individual in custody go,” according to a CPD statement.

The crowd began throwing glass bottles at the officers, prompting them to declare a “10-1” police emergency that drew back-up units to the scene. The officers were not injured and the allegedly armed man, 18-year-old Shamar Hunter, is charged with a felony.

The incident bears many similarities to an incident last year in which two police officers were threatened by a crowd as they detained a man on the West Side. CWBChicago recently received 41 CPD bodyworn camera and dashcam videos from the March 2019 confrontation nearly a year after we asked for the footage in an open records request.

Unlike Tuesday’s incident, two men — including one who was handcuffed — escaped from police with the assistance of bystanders last year. Two officers said members of the crowd threatened to shoot them if they didn’t release a man they had detained. And, shots were fired nearby as the confrontation unfolded.

Two police officers pulled Robert Gates over for a traffic violation on the 4700 West Gladys around 2:10 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day last year, according to CPD records. Gates, age 31, got out of the vehicle and tossed a bag containing suspected narcotics under the van, the officers said.

The two officers’ bodyworn cameras were rolling as one officer handcuffed Gates and the other bent down to look under his van. When Gates saw the officer reach under his vehicle, he began fighting with the other cop.

The officer who went to the van then began chasing a bystander who allegedly took the suspected narcotics from under Gates’ van and threatened the cops. Shots can be heard ringing out nearby as the officer chases the man.

Meanwhile, the other officer continued to struggle with Gates until a man identified by police as 30-year-old Anthony James stepped in and pulled Gates away. The second officer’s bodyworn camera shows Gates getting to his feet and running down an alley with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Gates got away. Police caught up with him 10 days later to face charges of escape and aggravated battery of a police officer. The case is pending. CPD records show he has been arrested four times since then.

James also got away. Police caught up with him on March 27, too. He is facing charges of aiding escape from a police officer, aggravated assault of a police officer, and resisting police. James, who was on parole at the time, is an Undertaker Vice Lord street gang member, according to a CPD arrest report.

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