The Law Office of Standish E. Willis and the Westside Justice Center today announced the wrongful death lawsuit filed in the police murder of beloved Southside barber, Mr. Harith Augustus. The unprovoked and unlawful shooting of Augustus, age 37, sparked outrage and large community protests for weeks after Chicago police (CPD) targeted, shot and killed Mr. Augustus near his place of business in July.
The lawsuit comes as the approaching holidays bring fresh reminders of the permanent pain caused by police when they take yet another innocent Black life, with willful and wanton disregard. The family laments: “our son and brother’s picture is a daily reminder that we will never again see him smile, hug him and tell him how much we love him.”
The lawsuit charges several CPD officers, Superintendent Eddie Johnson, and the City of Chicago in Harith’s homicide citing the police department’s well-publicized racially-discriminatory practices as confirmed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Chicago Mayor’s own Task Force on Police Accountability (2016 report) which exposed racism, “systemic institutional failures”, and a pattern of “death and injury at the hands of police”.
Before his life was taken by the intentional aggressive, criminal assault of the police, Harith was a law-abiding citizen, walking from his barbershop to handle errands. He deserved to be treated fairly, with respect and dignity. Atty. Jeannette Samuels stated, “the very last thing Harith ever did was try to show the cop his ID, even after he’d been shot, because that’s the type of man he was.
He deserved better, he should still be here.” Atty. Stan Willis noted “these criminal police actions continue to devastate our community, destroying promising young lives and leaving families heartbroken. Their additional attempt at character assassination after murdering Harith is typical, but it’s a travesty”. As many families prepare for the holidays, the family and friends of this peaceful barber continue to fight for Justice for Harith. See the family’s original statement below.
STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF
HARITH LIU AUGUSTUS
The family of Harith Liu Augustus gives thanks to God for the Creator’s love and the outpouring of prayers, condolences, and support shown by so many near and far during our time of mourning.
Our son and brother was a quiet, yet strong presence in our family and community. He treated people with respect and simply wanted to live a life of peace and quiet. Harith was reliable, dependable and a hard worker. Affectionately known as “Snoop,” his love of barbering flowed to his customers whom he made feel better about themselves with his skillful work. Harith was a good man and we are deeply distraught that he is no longer with us.
We acknowledge the emotions felt and expressed by so many in our community who witnessed the last seconds of his life, that have also been displayed before the world, via police body-cam footage. For you, our community and us, the manner of Harith’s tragic death is all too familiar and seems so unnecessary.
We thank all of you for respecting our family’s privacy in this matter. We are hurting deeply right now in ways you can’t begin to imagine. We have heard the voices of many who have shared heartfelt and timely concerns in the form of protest, memorials and requests for accountability and full transparency. We are grateful for the support you continue to show as we grieve the loss of our son and brother, Harith Liu Augustus.
God bless you all.