New videos show police chase that led to fatal crash in Austin

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A police oversight agency released videos showing a police chase that led to a crash which killed a man in Austin in May on the West Side after police said they tried to stop a driver who was using a cellphone.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability released seven videos Thursday showing the May 16 incident that led to the death of 19-year-old Gerimiah Staple Jr., who was in a car police said fled a traffic stop.

About 8:51 p.m., officers tried to stop a 2006 Chevy Monte Carlo in the 4800 block of West Chicago Avenue because they saw the driver using a cellphone, Chicago police said in an incident report. The car pulled over momentarily but drove off west on Chicago before the officers could get out of their vehicle.

The Monte Carlo struck a Chevy Equinox in the 5100 block of West Chicago, according to the report, officers said they saw several citizens pull Staple out of the passengers seat of the car and lay him down on the sidewalk to help him.

Staple was taken in critical condition to Stroger Hospital where he later died, authorities said. The driver of the Monte Carlo ran off.

During their investigation, “suspected narcotics” were found underneath the driver’s seat of the Monte Carlo, the report said.

Police dashcam footage shows the initial encounter.

A squad car activates its lights and stops behind the Monte Carlo which pulls over for a few seconds before veering back into traffic and speeding off. The police car makes chase and the collision between two vehicles can be seen in the distance about a minute into the video.

Bystanders rush to the Monte Carlo, and the officers in the squad car wait a few seconds before getting out of their vehicle and walking to the scene.

Another video shows the moments after the crash.

A crowd of people surround the wreck and several can be seen crouching next to someone on the street. Officers arrive and begin to disperse the crowd a couple of minutes later.

COPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the release of the videos.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

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