The father of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, who was fatally shot Saturday by police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago. Antonio LeGrier claimed his son posed no threat to the officer who shot him from a distance of “20 or 30 feet” while he was still inside a west Chicago home, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday. Bettie Jones, a 55-year-old grandmother, was also fatally shot by accident in the incident.
“There was no way he was posing a threat to the officer. He didn’t have a gun. He didn’t have a knife,” LeGrier’s attorney, Basileios Foutris, said. “He certainly didn’t have any kind of a weapon that could have presented a threat to an officer who was 20, 30 feet away.”
The lawsuit alleges that the officer who shot Quintonio LeGrier did nothing to help him as he lay dying, and falsely arrested Antonio LeGrier and brought him to a police station, "thereby separating him from his dying son and family." The suit also claims that there is video footage of at least part of the incident, which has been confiscated by the city.
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Some reports have said Quintonio LeGrier, a Northern Illinois University student, had been carrying a bat and was threatening his father when police arrived, but Foutris said it didn’t justify officers’ actions.
Lawyers for Jones’ family said they have not yet filed a lawsuit and are still collecting information on the incident, although the incident was “clearly a wrongful death situation.”
“The bell rang and she opened the door and she ended up dead,” the family’s attorney Larry Rogers Jr. said. “I don’t understand that kind of reckless action by a police officer.”
The incident comes while the Chicago Police Department and the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, are under heavy scrutiny for other instances of officers’ uses of lethal force. Last month, the city released footage of the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald, which showed an officer shooting the 17-year-old 16 times as he was walking away. Emanuel fired the city’s police superintendent and launched a task force looking into the police department, and the U.S. Department of Justice opened its own investigation into Chicago's police conduct.