Early Saturday morning, the Chicago police accidentally killed Bettie Jones, a 55-year-old mother of five, when responding to a domestic disturbance near her home.
Jones lived downstairs from Quintonio LeGrier, 19, who was also killed. Police responded to a call from LeGrier’s father. In a statement, the Chicago police said, “Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals.” The statement acknowledged the accidental shooting of Jones, “The 55-year-old female victim was accidentally struck and tragically killed. The department extends [its] deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends.”
LeGrier’s father, Antonio LeGrier, called the police early Saturday morning when, according to reports, his son became “agitated.” Family members told local reporters that LeGrier was carrying a baseball bat and yelling at his father. The Associated Press reports:
The father said he called Jones, who lived a floor below, and warned her that his son was a “little irate” and not to open the door unless police arrived. He said Jones told him she saw his son outside with a baseball bat.
When police arrived, Antonio LeGrier said he heard Jones yell, “Whoa, Whoa Whoa!” He said he heard gunshots as he made his way down from the second floor and then saw his son and Jones lying in the foyer.
Antonio LeGrier says his son was shot seven times. Jones’ daughter, Latisha, said she woke up to the sound of gunfire and found her mother on the floor with a gunshot to the neck.
Officers involved with the shooting have been put administrative duty for 30 days while “training and fitness for duty requirements can be conducted.” Both LeGrier and Jones’ families are, however, demanding more answers.
The shootings come in the middle of a Justice Department investigation over the death of Laquan McDonald, the 17-year-old black teenager who was killed by Chicago police in 2014.
In a statement issued last night, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “Anytime an officer uses force, the public deserves answers, and regardless of the circumstances we all grieve anytime there is a loss of life in our city.” LeGrier’s mother has called on Emanuel to publicly apologize for her son’s death. Jones’ cousin, Evelyn Glover Jennings, told the Chicago Tribune, “I want this investigation to be thorough. I want answers. Her blood is crying out from the grave saying, ‘Evelyn, avenge me.’”
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