CHICAGO – An Illinois officer who was put on leave after shooting two people in a car on Tuesday night, fatally injuring one, has been fired by the Waukegan Police Department.
The officer, who has not been identified, had been a member of the department for five years and is of Hispanic descent. He was fired on Friday evening “for multiple violations of policies and procedures,” department commander Edgar Navarro said in a press release.
Marcellis Stinnette, 19, was killed and his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, 20, was injured after the officer shot a car that allegedly backed up towards him.
Lawyers Ben Crump and Antonio M. Romanucci – who represent the families of George Floyd, Daniel Prude, Byron Williams and others – said on Friday they had been selected to represent Williams. Williams has serious injuries but is expected to recover.
“Ms. Williams ‘legal team will begin their own investigation into what happened in this incident, as we do not trust the police account in this case. We have seen time and again that the report’ official ‘When police kill black people too often are missing or distorted details, “Crump said in a press release.” We will share our findings with the public when we find out the truth. “
You know the stories of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor:10 years after his death, you should also know DJ Henry.
The incident happened just before midnight Tuesday, when an officer approached a “suspicious” vehicle, Navarro told reporters on Wednesday. As the officer conducted his investigation, the vehicle fled and was spotted moments later by another officer, who got out of his car to approach the vehicle, Navarro said.
“This officer got out of his vehicle and the vehicle he was investigating started backing up towards the officer. The officer then pulled out his service weapon and fired at the vehicle,” Navarro said.
The initial police report stated that the officer “feared for his safety”.
It collided with both Stinnette, who was in the passenger seat, and Williams, who was in the driver’s seat. They were both taken to hospital, where Stinnette died.
No guns were found in the vehicle, Navarro said. He did not explain why the vehicle was initially stopped.
Navarro said on Wednesday that the two officers involved had been put on leave. None have been identified.
The families of Stinnette and Williams, who are black, have questioned the ministry’s official account. Williams’ mother Cliftina Johnson said she visited her daughter in hospital, where she was in serious condition. Her daughter is the mother of two children.
The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force was investigating the incident and the Waukegan Police Department had turned over all reports, body camera and dashcam footage, Navarro said. .
Lake County State Attorney Michael Nerheim said on Wednesday he would review the state police investigation and make “the whole file” available to the public when completed.
Dozens of men, women and children marched through Waukegan Thursday afternoon to demand justice for Williams and Stinnette, marching with raised fists and chanting “Black lives matter.”
“Say her name! Marcellis Stinnette! What’s her name? Tafara Williams,” the group chanted, according to live broadcasts of the march posted on social media.
With a population of over 86,000, Waukegan is predominantly Hispanic or Latino and about a quarter non-Hispanic white and a quarter black, according to the Census Bureau.
The town is about 15 miles south of Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Jacob Blake, 29, has been shot several times in the back while getting into a car, sparking unrest in the town and sparking protests throughout. the country.
Of the more than 5,700 people who have been shot dead by police since 2015, 24% were black, although black Americans make up 13% of the American population, according to a Washington Post database of fatal shootings by police officers in service.
Contributor: The Associated Press