When Antonio LeGrier called the police stating that his son seemed to be a “little agitated”, he probably did not expect the police to kill the 19-year-old student, Quintonio LeGrier… And his 55-year-old neighbor, Bettie Jones, who was a mother of 5.
The neighbors were living in a two-flat in West Garfield Park, the LeGriers living upstairs while Jones was living downstairs. She was fatefully asked to watch for the police.
The grieving mother of Quintonio, who had often said he would graduate with an engineering degree and “be somebody”, said that she had been hoping to “get help” from the police. Big mistake.
She believes that her son had been shot no less than seven times; autopsy results show that LeGrier was killed by multiple gunshot wounds, while Jones was killed from a single gunshot to the chest.
“Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals,” said the police in a statement. Fatally wounding is a more pleasant way of saying “killed”. The name of the officer involved was not revealed, and the matter is still under investigation.
Jones was celebrating Christmas with more than a dozen of her family. According to her cousin, she was shot “through the door” as she was looking out for the arrival of the police. A single bullet hole through the door was observed at the crime scene.
“How are you just going to fire through the door?” the grieving family asked.
“You call for help and you lose someone… That has to stop,” Legrier’s mother Janet Cooksey said. She told local channel WLS-TV that her son was“having a mental situation” and sometimes would “get loud, but not violent.”
Carl Dix from the US Revolutionary Communist Party told RT that “to say that they were confronted with an armed individual so they had to shoot…a bystander?! That makes no sense”. He asserted that police should have the training necessary to deal with a teen with a baseball bat.
“But in this society police get to kill someone like that, and then they get the benefit of the doubt when the question gets raised,” he added.
Below is the dispatch audio from the shooting:
Outrage over police shootings had already reached a tipping point in Chicago, with hundreds of protesters calling for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and an investigation into his administration. A Chicago police superintendent has already stepped down.
Jones’ niece Naportia Jones said that she had always questioned the recent outrage against police violence… until tragedy struck her family as well, “I straddled the fence on it. I said, ‘Well, you know, I’m sure there’s a situation,’ ” Jones said. “It really don’t hit you as hard until it’s in your front yard.”