Dakota Bright, 15

Chicago, Illinois
November 08, 2012

Agencies: Cook County State Attorney's Office Illinois | Chicago Police Department Illinois | Independent Police Review Authority Chicago

Cause of death: Shooting

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Last updated: over 5 years ago


Normally, Dakota would head home to his mother after school, but he would occasionally go to his grandmother’s before heading home. On Nov. 8, 2012, he had gone to his grandmother’s after spending time at a girlfriend’s home, where he was playing video games.

“He had called to ask me for $5—his father was incarcerated and his brother was incarcerated—so he called me,” says Edwards. He then left to head home. Dakota walked one way and his girlfriend walked another way.

Moments later, the girl called Edwards to alert her to the fact that she had heard gunshots in the direction that Dakota had walked. The girl asked, “Did Dakota come home?” Edwards tried calling Dakota, but there was no answer.”

“When I called that phone he answered that phone so I knew something was up. I got up and went over there. [The police] wouldn’t tell me nothing. Someone went over [to the scene] and said it was Dakota. I lost it,” Edwards says.

Dakota had a tattoo of his mother’s name and was immediately identified by a neighbor. Dakota was shot in the back of the head and left dead

Legal Action

June 2016 Settlement $925,000

WGN reported despite the recommendation of oversight officials, Officer Brandon Ternand was vindicated in a 5 to 3 board vote Thursday October 11, 2018, meaning he won't be fired or disciplined for the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Dakota Bright during a foot chase. In August 2017, the Independent Police Review Authority ruled the fatal shooting was "unprovoked" and "unwarranted," more than a year after the city of Chicago settled with Bright's family.

Community and Family Efforts

November 2014 Protest

May 2015 Protest