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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Teen Who Died During Confrontation With Police Wouldn’t Have Shot Himself, Family Says

Steven Rosenthal's death was ruled a suicide, but his family is calling for an independent investigation.

Steven Rosenthal took his own life after running from Chicago Police officers, police said, but his family is questioning that story.
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CHICAGO — A teen killed himself after being chased by officers Friday night in North Lawndale, police said, but his family is questioning the department’s story.

At 6:55 p.m. Friday, officers saw the boy in the 1500 block of South Keeler Avenue and thought he had a gun, police said. The officers tried to question him, but the teen “led them on a brief foot pursuit,” police said.

After the short chase, the teen used the gun to kill himself, police said.

The boy was identified as 16-year-old Steven Rosenthal, of the same block where he died, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office records. Rosenthal was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m. Friday and an autopsy ruled he died from a gunshot wound in his head in a suicide, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Rosenthal’s loved ones and activists have questioned the Chicago Police Department and the medical examiner’s findings, though. His family members and friends marched on Sunday, calling on the Police Department to release its evidence in the case.

“I need to see evidence, body cams,” said Rosenthal’s aunt, Terinica Thomas, as she wept during a news conference on Sunday, as seen in video from CBS2. “My nephew would never commit suicide.”

Rosenthal was a basketball player who lived with his aunt after his mother died earlier this year, according to ABC7.