Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Ballas’ campaign on Wednesday defended his son after media reports detailed his involvement in a 2022 police shooting.
Vallas has often spoken about his son, San Antonio police officer Gus Vallas, during the course of the campaign, noting that they are a family of civil servants with close ties to the police. But family ties took a turn for the worse after Black’s Triibe, his Chicago-focused news site. Published an article about Gus Valas’ role in the 2022 incident Three San Antonio police officers shot dead a black man whom police said was wanted on a felony warrant.
Vallas campaign officials confirmed Gus Vallas’ involvement in a statement.
“This matter was the subject of a full investigation,” said a statement from Valas’ campaign spokesperson. “Gus Valas was found not to have been involved in any policy violations and has been returned to full duty.”
The statement referred to additional comments to the San Antonio Police Department.
For Valas, the shooting will likely renew scrutiny in his stance on police action.
Valas has campaigned on platforms for more active policing and is backed by the Chicago Fraternity Police Order, which is outspokenly opposed to police reform. He was also critical of Chicago Police Department policies that limit the situations in which officers can pursue suspects.
At the same time, Vallas said he wants full implementation of the 2019 Federal Consent Order, which mandates reforms in Chicago police training, use of force, data management and other areas. An 800-paragraph court order was issued after the Laquan McDonald case.
The Triibe report stems from an incident in March 2022 when three police officers tried to stop 28-year-old black Kevin Donnell Johnson Jr. while he was riding his bike. According to the San Antonio Express-NewsAt the time of the shooting, Gus Valas had been in the military for four years.
Police said officers were looking for him because he was wanted with a warrant for felony possession of a firearm and a parole violation, according to newspaper reports.
According to videos, including newspaper and body camera footage, Johnson fled and officers chased him into a creek, where one officer was caught on video yelling, “Get down, boy.” Released from the San Antonio Police Department.
Police said they saw him holding a gun in his hand and yelled, “Hands down.” According to the newspaper, Johnson staggered and momentarily faced police, who shouted, “He has a gun.” All three officers opened fire, according to the newspaper.
Video from the scene later showed a gun next to Johnson’s body, and San Antonio police said the gun found at the scene was forensically linked to multiple violent crimes.
Johnson’s mother, Arlene Garcia, was critical of police for shooting her son.
“They shot him like a pig,” she said. local TV station.