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Death never takes a holiday and, sadly, that saying rang doubly true in Chicago over the weekend when a police officer fatally shot a mother of five and a college student.

According to the Chicago Police Department, 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier was shot and killed when an officer responding to a “domestic disturbance” encountered the “combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals.” Fifty-five-year-old Bettie Jones, LeGrier’s downstairs neighbor who opened the door when police arrived, was “accidentally struck and tragically killed” during the encounter, NBC news reports.

According to police dispatch radio traffic obtained by the Chicago Tribune, LeGrier was carrying a baseball bat and threatening his father when police were called. The engineering student is said to have struggled with mental health issues in recent months and had become agitated when he began carrying around a metal bat and banging on his father’s bedroom with it.

“His father was scared because that’s not his character,” according LeGrier’s mother, Janet Cooksey, who was not present at the time of the shooting. She said her family was told her son was shot seven times though the police department said it is still awaiting autopsy results to determine how many times LeGrier was shot.

“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,” she said. “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 honor student. He’s here for Christmas break, and now I’ve lost him.

“Emanuel, I want a personal apology for my son’s life,” Cooksey said referring to the city’s mayor. “I don’t want you to get on the news and say you’re so … I want a personal apology.”

A relative of the teen told the Tribune it appears he came to the front door as officers pulled up. Jones’ relatives believe she was behind LeGrier, near the entrance to her apartment, which was how the mother of four daughters and one son was fatally wounded in the encounter. The Police Department have yet to say where the victims were standing when they were shot. They also haven’t said how many officers were involved in the shooting, but noted those who responded were put on administrative duty for 30 days and the incident would be investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority.

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  • [email protected]

    There are no words.

    Families lost their loved ones to the terrorism of the police. There is no need to sugarcoat our language when we describe the nefarious devastation that police terrorism has done to communities in America plus worldwide for a long time. A person with mental health issues could have been treated much better than shooting at him seven times (according to the young man’s family). Also, a black mother wasn’t armed and she was murdered. For the cops to call her death an “accident” shows how the police institution wants to cover up their own selves. No innocent mother deserves to be murdered. We have seen many of the so-called “good” cops being either silent or minimizing the problem. This is why people are protesting. This is why people are rebelling. The families of the victims have every right to be angry and grieve. The crooked cops act as an occupying force instead of a compassionate group of people. Some of these cops do kill first and ask questions later. We can look at incidents from the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson to other Brothers and Sisters being murdered to prove this reality. Respectability politics is a myth. The working class and the poor have been greatly mistreated by the one percent and their arm of police occupiers. The Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the CPD has failed the citizens of Chicago. This should change. We need not only an end to police terrorism. We need a real radical redistribution of wealth, so economic justice can exist.

    We want an independent investigation (which is done by no cops) and we want justice.

  • Lelani

    I still see neighbors and others call the police or threaten to call the police on family members to deal with family drama. In this current climate, this is a death sentence, but for whatever reason calling the police is a lot of people’s remedy. If this father was so fearful of his son to call the police, were the police justified in being scared of him also? I don’t know. It is just so sad that 2 lives had to be lost and there is no good explanation why.