Three days after the death of Denzel Curnell, Officer Jamal Medlin gave the following account of what happened:
1. On June 20 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Officer Medlin was sitting in his car near Building 112 in the Bridgeview Village apartment complex. “I observed a male figure wearing all black with a hoodie pulled over his head walking across the complex at a brisk pace toward building 127,” Medlin says.
2. Officer Medlin followed the man, 19-year-old Denzel Curnell, to Building 127. When Medlin was within 10 yards of Curnell, he stepped out of the vehicle and said, “Hey man, can I holla at you?” He writes that Curnell, who no longer had a hood over his head, acknowledged his presence but “had a distant look on his face.” He saw that Curnell was hiding his right hand in his hoodie pocket.
3. “I immediately got a bad feeling,” Medlin says, so he pulled out his service pistol (A) and pointed it at Curnell.
Officer Medlin ordered Curnell to take his hand out of the hoodie pocket, but Curnell reportedly continued to stare and then turned his back on the officer with his hand still in the pocket. (B) Medlin says he grabbed Curnell by the back of his hoodie and “attempted to escort” him to the police car.
4. Curnell resisted, and Medlin let him go. The teen then walked about three yards away from Medlin and dropped to his knees with his right hand still inside the hoodie pocket. When Curnell did not obey orders to get on the ground, Officer Medlin, a roughly 300-pound former defensive tackle, writes, “I used my body weight to push the victim to the ground (C), and I landed on top of him.”
5. After some struggle, Medlin got Curnell to lie down on his stomach. While he was kneeling over Curnell, Medlin writes that he looked down to re-holster his pistol (D).
When Medlin looked back at Curnell, he writes, “I heard him say, ‘Fuck it!’ The victim then made [a] quick upward motion … with his right hand toward his head, and I observed a flash and heard a loud bang.” (E) This is the first time Medlin mentions Curnell taking his hand out of the pocket.
6. “I immediately jumped off [the] victim and covered down on him with my duty weapon,” Medlin writes (F). Medlin says he called dispatch and kept his pistol trained on Curnell until other officers arrived at the scene. A large crowd started to gather around the scene of the shooting.