On Saturday morning, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Police Department fatally shot two people during a domestic disturbance call — Quintonio Legrier, 19, and Bettie Jones, 55. Legrier was reportedly the subject of a police call placed by his father Antonio, who was worried by his son's "agitated" behavior after he returned home early Saturday morning. He reportedly warned his neighbor Jones, who lived below him, not to leave her home until the police arrived. But when they did, something went horribly wrong — both Jones and Legrier were shot and killed.
Coming on the heels of an immense amount of protest, thanks in large part to the recent release of video from the police shooting of Laquan McDonald late last year, this latest incident may end up fueling further public demonstrations — both Legrier and Jones were black.
According to ABC News, Legrier's mother Janet Cooksey characterized him as "having a mental situation." While she said that he'd get loud sometimes, she also said he was "not violent." The Chicago Police Department has described the shooting as resulting from a confrontation with a "combative subject." Antonio Legrier told the Sun-Times that Jones claimed seeing Quintonio outside holding a baseball bat before the shooting took place.
The elder Legrier provided his own striking assessment of what happened, however — he says that the officer who fired the shots, who he claims said "F***, no, no, no. I thought he was lunging at me with the bat," showed by his reaction that "he knew he had messed up."
In my opinion, he knew he had messed up. It was senseless. He knew he had shot, blindly, reckless into the doorway and now two people are dead because of it.
Jones, who had five children, was reportedly celebrating with family in the hours before the shooting — her brother Melvin told ABC News that she'd "had an excellent Christmas," and that he's currently experiencing "a whole lot of anger, a whole lot of tears."
According to the Chicago Tribune, the family was informed about Quintonio's death — specifically, that he was shot seven times. Cooksey excoriated the department in remarks to the paper, protesting that the police are meant to provide "service and protection."
He's gone, he's gone. Seven times he was shot. He didn't have a gun. He had a bat. One or two times would have brought him down. You call the police, you try to get help and you lose a loved one. What are they trained for? Just to kill? I thought that we were supposed to get service and protection. I mean, my son was an honors student. He's here for Christmas break, and now I've lost him. I'm trying to be strong because I pray. But that's my only child. And I'm hurting. I'm hurting real bad.
According to the Tribune, this is the first use of lethal force by the CPD since the Laquan McDonald video was released on November 24th. For the time being, the case has reportedly been turned over to the city's police oversight agency, but given recent events surrounding the McDonald shooting, that's not likely to quell anyone's concern or outrage. Cooksey, for one, is holding Mayor Rahm Emanuel responsible: "Emanuel, I want a personal apology for my son's life. I don't want you to get on the news and say you're so ... I want a personal apology."