Steven Rosenthal’s family believe he was killed by Chicago police who insist he killed himself

Steve Rosenthal, 15, committed suicide, according to police. His family questions their narrative. (Photo courtesy of GoFundMe)

 

Nothing will bring back 15-year old Steven Rosenthal, but his family wants the truth to be told about how exactly he died. They believe he was killed by Chicago Police officers, even though officials say there is no evidence that any officer fired a weapon during the Friday night encounter that led to his death.

According to CBS Chicago, the teen’s grieving family says there is no way he would take his own life, but the medical examiner’s report paints an entirely different picture.

Friday night, police say they attempted to question Rosenthal because they believed he was armed. That’s when he allegedly ran away and pulled out a gun out while standing on the back stairwell of his home in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.

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Sunday, the young man’s loved ones marched with activists through North Lawndale, rejecting the finding that he’d committed suicide.

“My nephew would never commit suicide, ever,” Terinica Thomas, the boy’s aunt and legal guardian, said during a press conference outside Johnson School of Excellence. The protestors went to Sinai Hospital demanding to see the teen’s body, then ended the march at Chicago Police Department’s 10th District, where there were calls for police body camera footage to be released.

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Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says no footage has been found Sunday that depicts the moment Rosenthal was shot.

When asked about the communities disbelief about the cause of death Guglielmi called Rosenthal’s passing  “an absolute tragedy,”  and said, “suicide is an immensely difficult and painful thing to deal with.”

“Our deepest condolences go out to this family,” he concluded.

The Cook County Medical Examiner, who works independent from police, ruled the young man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head based on ballistics and an autopsy. However, Andrew Stroth, the family’s attorney, says there are witnesses who contradict the medical examiner’s findings.

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Stroth believes Steven Rosenthal was killed “without cause or provocation” within moments of rushing up the stairwell and his family is now demanding a full, independent and transparent” investigation.

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