Illinois cop was fired for shooting an unarmed black teen after he and his girlfriend “ fled a traffic stop
A police officer in a Chicago suburb who shot a black couple in a vehicle – killing a 19-year-old man and injuring his girlfriend – has been fired, the police chief announced Friday night.
The officer who fatally shot Marcellis Stinnette and subsequently injured his child’s mother, Tafara Williams, after what authorities described as a traffic stop late Tuesday, committed “ multiple violations of policy and procedure, ” said Wayne Walles, Waukegan police chief. in a brief statement.
No other details were provided, including the officer’s name.
The announcement of the resignation came shortly after the Lake County chief prosecutor announced that the FBI will join the Illinois State Police to investigate the shooting.
‘We still haven’t seen videos’ of what happened, Satrese Stallworth said, Stinnette’s cousin told the Daily Herald, “but we’re glad to see that something has been done about this.”
‘They don’t just end you for no reason. So they apparently have evidence that the officer was definitely wrong, ”she said.
Marcellis Stinnette, 19, (left) was killed and his girlfriend and the mother of his child, Tafara Williams, (right) were seriously injured when a Waukegan police officer opened fire on Tuesday night. It was announced Friday night that the white officer involved had been fired
The officer who shot Marcellis Stinnette and subsequently injured his child’s mother, Tafara Williams, according to what authorities described as a traffic stop late Tuesday, committed “ multiple violations of policy and procedure, ” said Wayne Walles, Waukegan police chief. , in the picture. short statement
Lake County Attorney Michael Nerheim said he had asked the United States Department of Justice to review the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
“I have confidence in the work being done by the Illinois State Police and welcome the help of the FBI,” Nerheim said in a statement. “As I have said before, once the investigation is completed, all evidence will be reviewed and a final decision will be made regarding potential charges.”
Waukegan police have said that Williams was driving and Stinnette was a passenger in a vehicle that had fled a traffic stop on Tuesday night and that the vehicle was later spotted by another officer.
Police said as the second officer approached, the vehicle began to reverse and the officer opened fire. No weapon was found in the vehicle.
Police have said the car, which was being driven by Williams, fled when a white officer approached them after a traffic stop just before midnight.
The officer who shot the couple is of Spanish descent and had been with the Waukegan Police Department for five years.
As a second officer approached the car, police said Williams began backing up and fired his gun into the vehicle.
During a rally on Thursday, Clyde McLemore, chief of the Lake County branch of Black Lives Matter, called for a federal investigation.
Activists and family members of the couple have also demanded the release of the police video of the shooting, which authorities say was turned over to the detectives.
Activist Chris Blanks said the video is especially important because the police version of the events and the version that Clifftina Johnson said her injured daughter, Williams, shared with her, seem to contradict each other.
Johnson said her daughter told her Williams and her boyfriend had done nothing to provoke the officer.
Nerheim urged calmness during the investigation and promised transparency.
Tafara Williams – who had been shot in the stomach and in the hand – said on Thursday from her hospital bed that she and her boyfriend had done nothing to provoke the shooting and wondered why officers fired.
Speaking from her hospital bed on Thursday, Williams – who was shot in the stomach and hand – recounted ABC7 that they had done nothing to provoke the shooting and wondered why officers fired.
‘Why did you shoot? I haven’t done anything wrong. I have a permit. You didn’t tell me I was under arrest, ”she said.
‘Why did you just light my car? Why did you shoot? ‘
Williams’ mother, Clifftina Johnson, said her daughter had also insisted they did nothing wrong when she first visited her in the hospital.
“When I got there, she said, ‘Mommy, they just shot us for nothing,’” said her mother, Clifftina Johnson.
“My daughter said she raised her hand, and if she didn’t raise her hand, she said, ‘Mommy, I’d be dead.’
Williams’ mother said her daughter had asked about her boyfriend, but she initially didn’t have the heart to tell her he was dead.
Police have so far not confirmed why the couple were detained for the first traffic stop.
Protesters took to the streets to protest after police shot unarmed black couple in Waukegan Tuesday night
Local Black Lives Matter organizer Clyde McLemore (above) said he wants the police officers involved to be prosecuted. He called on the Justice Department to intervene and investigate the shooting instead of the state police
The couple’s families are demanding that authorities release any video that may have shown what happened, as well as further information about the shooting.
The body camera and police car video that the family plans to release to the public have been turned over to Illinois State Police.
Waukegan police commander Edgar Navarro said state police are investigating the incident and will present the findings to the local prosecutor’s office.
Lake County attorney Michael Nerheim noted that the investigation may take several weeks to complete.
Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham, who knows the couple’s families personally, said the shooting had affected him personally.
‘This is difficult for this community. I know this family personally. Their great-grandmother always looked after me. To talk to them about this, yes, it hurts, ”Cunningham said.
‘I am a black man who grew up in the same neighborhood. I could have been. ‘
Sherrellis Sheria Stinnette, grandmother of Marcellis Stinnette, cried when she spoke about her grandson in Waukegan on Thursday
Rayon Edwards speaks into a megaphone as he marches with protesters at a protest rally for Marcellis Stinnette on Thursday
Cunningham asked residents to wait for all the facts to be known before responding to the shooting, saying there is a lot of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘rumors flying around’.
He added that he was nervous for Waukegan given the recent unrest in other parts of the country.
‘I’m nervous for Waukegan. We’ve seen this game across this country. It’s just tearing through communities and it takes years to rebuild, ‘he said.
A protest held in Waukegan on Thursday began with several dozen people at the scene of the shooting before marching on to police headquarters.
Local Black Lives Matter organizer Clyde McLemore said he wants the police officers involved to be prosecuted.
He called on the Justice Department to intervene and investigate the shooting instead of the state police.
“We are tired of the police investigating the police,” he said.
The meeting on Thursday was peaceful.
Protesters protested the October 20 shooting that led to the death of 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette and which left his girlfriend, 20-year-old Tafara Williams, with serious injuries.
About 100 protesters, including many family members of the shootings, marched from the shooting scene to City Hall, stopping at the police station and courthouse along the way
“We’re not here to destroy our own town,” McLemore said.
Waukegan is about 15 miles south of Kenosha, Wisconsin, where violent protests broke out after black Jacob Blake was left paralyzed after being shot seven times by police in August.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, from nearby Antioch, Illinois, is charged with shooting and murdering two protesters two nights later.
The two agents involved in the Waukegan incident have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
People march during a protest rally for Marcellis Stinnette who was murdered by Waukegan police in Waukegan last Tuesday
Protesters denounced violence but demanded accountability in statements