Adding to tensions that have reached a boiling point in the Windy City, Chicago police admitted they “accidentally” shot and killed a 55-year-old woman while trying to kill a 19-year-old man early Saturday morning.
But police expressed their “deepest condolences” to the family of Bettie Jones, explaining they had to kill Quintonio LeGrier because he had come charging at them with a baseball bat, making them fear for their lives.
And she just happened to be in the way.
However, LeGrier’s father said the cop was standing about 30 feet from both the bodies seconds after he heard the shots when he was coming down the stairs in his home to greet them.
The cop was standing on the grass outside, accusing his son of “lunging” at him. The bodies were laying in the foyer inside, his son already dead with seven bullet wounds, his tenant gasping her final breaths with a gunshot wound to her neck.
“F—, no, no, no. I thought he was lunging at me with the [baseball] bat,” LeGrier said the officer yelled following the shooting that claimed the lives of college student Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie R. Jones.
“In my opinion, he knew he had messed up. It was senseless,” Antonio LeGrier, 47, said of the dark-haired officer who had fired.“He knew he had shot blindly, recklessly into the doorway and now two people are dead because of it.”
Unfortunately, it was the elder LeGrier who had called police after his son had a mental episode and began banging on his parents’ bedroom door with a baseball bat in the upstairs flat of his two-story home on the city’s West Side. And it was the elder LeGrier who called his downstairs tenant to ask her to open the door for the cops because his son was not acting normal.
And it was the worst mistake of his life; calling police for help with a loved one, only for them to kill that loved one. A mistake we’ve seen made by so many people in the past who truly believed police were there to serve and protect.
And now all he’s left with is weak apologies and weaker excuses from a city that has long run out of excuses and apologies. A city on the brink of upheaval with protests still taking place more than a month after the release of a dash cam video showing another police officer shooting another teenager in another case of untreated mental illness.
And yes, another weak accusation of a “lunging” teen threatening a fearing-for-his-life cop that was nowhere within the lunging range and whose name has still not been released.
And, of course, another weak assurance from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that the incident will be reviewed by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority, which apparently is not as independent as its name suggests considering its chief administrator resigned earlier this month after the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation into the Chicago Police Department.
Emanuel, for his part, is vacationing in Cuba with his family, enjoying the government’s newly relaxed tourism rules while engaging in “educational activities” on the communist island, according to the Sun-Times.
He is expected back in Chicago Monday where the calls for his resignation gets louder with each killing.
He had tried to quash the rebellion by firing Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy earlier this month after the release of the Laquan McDonald video, saying it was important to begin the “healing” process.
But healing will never be complete as long as he is at the helm considering he played the biggest role in not releasing the video for more than a year because he did not want it to affect his 2015 reelection. The only healing he is concerned with is that of his reputation, but it’s probably too late to heal that.
After all, here we are almost a month later and it’s like deja vu all over again, except now there is an innocent bystander dead; a mother of five whose only crime was trying to allow police inside the home.
A woman who nobody can blame for lunging.