Wayne Walles, Waukegan Police Chief, has this to say in a Friday press conference: "The City of Waukegan terminated the officer that discharged his firearm during that incident, for multiple policies and procedure violations," without having to describe the breaches or identifying the policeman.
In Waukegan late Tuesday, an approaching policeman shot into a reversing car, hitting a Black teen passenger and having the driver admitted to hospital, according to the reports.
As per the Lake County Coroner's Office, the Black teen passenger who had died was Marcellis Stinnette, 19.
After the shooting, the strain between both the law enforcement and the public have been massive. Following months of protest rallies over racial inequality as well as police brutality, most previously sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, the killing of yet another Black teen at the hands of the police has been the latest to trigger outrage.
The Waukegan case was taken over to the Illinois State Police, which would also execute an independent investigation before Friday's shooting had been announced to the public. The investigation would then assess the police body camera and squad car recordings by Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim, where the department will evaluate to either criminal press charges or not.
"I am certainly aware these situations are potentially volatile and elicit many emotions," Nerheim stated in a comment. "I strongly urge and hope for continued calm and patience as the investigation takes place," he added.
Shooting over a "suspicious" vehicle
When the car "retreated," a policeman was previously examining a suspicious vehicle inhabited by two people late Tuesday, soon before midnight, as per the Waukegan authorities.
A couple of minutes later, approximately half a mile ahead, a second policeman discovered the car. The policeman departed his patrol car and started to approach the car, which, the policeman stated, began reversing towards him. The policeman then started firing, "in fear for his safety," according to an account leaked before Friday's shooting has been declared.
According to the police, the black teen passenger and driver both experienced bullet wounds. The passenger had been admitted to the hospital and died there. An autopsy revealed Stinnette died of bullet wounds, according to the Coroner's Office. The black teen passenger was revealed to be the driver's boyfriend, according to the family members.
"We are seeking that someone is held accountable because this looks like a murder," Satrese Stallworth, who claimed that she was Stinnette's family and spoke for Stinnette's mother, told reporters on Thursday when protesters assembled to seek justice in Waukegan.
At the media briefing, Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham told journalists that he knew the families of victims, claiming that he had grown up with them.
The mayor had stated that after months of protests in other metropolitan areas following the deaths of Black citizens at the grip of police, he was worried about society uprisings. He implored everyone who has the shooting details or even the footage to share it with the officials.
On Thursday, crowds marched to persecute the shooting and sought for the investigation to be taken over by the Justice Department.
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