A Chicago police officer, responding to a domestic disturbance call, shot and killed a 19-year-old student and his 55-year-old neighbor, a mother of five. The grieving mother of the teenager said she had been hoping to “get help” from police.
The police were responding to a call from a man named Antonio LeGrier, who said that his son appeared to be a "little agitated" and had been trying to bust open the door of his bedroom in the middle of the night. But a neighbor said the teenager had been armed with a metal baseball bat.
“Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals,” police confirmed in a statement, not releasing the officer’s name. Authorities said the matter remains under investigation.
The second victim was a 55-year-old neighbor, Bettie Jones, who had been celebrating Christmas with more than a dozen family members, and was shot “through the door,” according to her cousin. Jones had reportedly been asked to keep an eye out for the arrival of police.
“How are you just going to fire through the door?” wondered the grieving family. There was a single bullet hole in the wooden door, according to Reuters, however details of the incident remain unclear.
“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."
Antonio confirmed his son had emotional problems, but said that it didn’t warrant him getting shot and killed, AP reported.
The incident follows a round of protests against Chicago police brutality, with more and more demonstrators calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s resignation and an investigation into his administration. Hundreds of people have been gathering on the streets of the city, claiming the police are killing civilians instead of protecting them.
Amid the protests, a Chicago police superintendent was forced to resign and the mayor created a special police accountability task force to review officers’ conduct.
The latest incident is another case of the police overstepping their boundaries, Carl Dix from the US Revolutionary Communist Party told RT.
“To say that they were confronted with an armed individual so they had to shoot…a bystander?! That makes no sense,” Dix says. He insist that in a normal society trained law enforcement personnel should know how to deal with a suspect armed with a baseball bat without killing him.
“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.