Family disputes police report in case of father shot by off-duty cop

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Conflicting reports of what happened after a tragic motorcycle crash involving a 4-year-old girl, Taniyah Middleton, are coming to light. An off-duty officer was riding his motorcycle down First Avenue in Maywood Saturday night around 10 pm. When the officer saw a girl in the street, he jumped off his bike in an effort to avoid her, but his motorcycle hit Taniyah and the cousin she was walking with.

Authorities said Christopher Middleton, the little girl’s 26-year-old father, approached the scene in a rage. According to the Chicago Tribune, Pat Camden, Fraternal Order of Police spokesman, said the officer immediately identified himself, and told Middleton to calm down.  To which Middleton allegedly responded with “I don’t give a f**k,” and punched the officer in the face.

theGrio: Father killed by off-duty cop who ran over his daughter

Maywood village spokesman Larry Shapiro claims that the girl’s 18-year-old cousin, John Passley, of Bellwood, also joined in the attack of the officer by kicking him.  The officer felt he was near losing consciousness when he removed his weapon and fired once, said Shapiro.

Camden stated, “Had the father simply stood there instead of attacking a police officer he might be alive today.”

However, Middleton’s family and friends say the officer never identified himself as a cop before firing. Tanya Jones, Middleton’s fiancee and Taniyah’s mother, told to the Tribune that she approached the scene after the fight had already broke out.  She saw both men trying to get off the ground, when Middleton was shot.  “Chris asked him, ‘Why did you shoot me, why did you shoot me,’ ” Jones said.

“I saw him take his last breath. He was a father trying to protect his daughter. He was never a violent person,” Jones added.  Jones and Middleton also have a 6-year-old son together, and Jones is pregnant with their third child, a girl.

Middleton, the officer, and Taniyah were all taken to Loyola Hospital. A spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Middleton was pronounced dead just before 10:30pm.  Both the officer and the child were treated overnight at the hospital for abrasions and contusions.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.