Chicago Fatal Shootings Warrant FBI Investigation Laquan McDonald, Quintonio LeGrier, Bettie Jones
After the spotlight on the Laquan McDonald case and the public’s outcry and the declaration from U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that the Justice Department has launched a civil “pattern and practice investigation” into the Chicago Police Department to determine whether the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was part of a larger, widespread pattern of officers violating civil rights the FBI has joined in the investigation into the fatal shootings by a Chicago police officer of a Northern Illinois University student and a grandmother on the day after Christmas.
The Cook County State’s Attorney office confirmed that federal agents are assisting its office in the probe of the December shootings of Quintonio LeGrier, the 19-year-old NIU student, and Bettie Jones, 55.
Alvarez, under scrutiny for her management of the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, asked for the FBI’s help in the days after the shootings of LeGrier and Jones.
Since U.S. Attorney General Lynch introduced the FBI’s involvement with the McDonald case, it first issued a statement in December that said its, “analysis and assessment of the circumstances surrounding this incident is ongoing.”
According to police reports a Chicago officer, responding to 911 calls of domestic trouble at the LeGrier family’s West Side home, opened fire as LeGrier repeatedly swung a baseball bat at him on the front porch about 4:30 a.m. Dec. 26. Jones, a neighbor, was mistakenly shot as she stood by the front door, police said.
The officer, Robert Rialmo, who had been with the department for a little over three years at the time of the shootings, has sued the teen’s estate, alleging the officer suffered “extreme emotional trauma.”
The police officers statements seem questionable according to a spokesman for the Jones family because the bullets appeared to have been shot through the door. Naturally the bodies will have to be examined to further help decide what occurred.
According to autopsy reports by the Cook County medical examiner’s office LeGrier was shot six times, including two graze wounds, while Jones suffered a single wound to her chest.
The mother, Janet Cooksey of Quintonio LeGrier, a sophomore at NIU, said that he had demonstrated erratic behavior in the months leading up to the shooting.
A close friend,Whitney Cain to LeGrier’s at the DeKalb school, said agents had traveled there to talk to her. Cain said that she’s glad that FBI is involved in the investigation, because it signaled that authorities were serious about the investigation.
Janet Cooksey, isn’t so sure about the FBI involvement. According to her she asked two FBI agents to leave her apartment in January when their questioning centered on her son’s background.