Families of two people shot dead by Chicago police demand change

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Friends and relatives of two people shot and killed by Chicago police on Saturday demand changes in the city’s police culture. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

Families of two people shot dead by Chicago police demand change


Friends and relatives of two people shot to death by Chicago police officers early Saturday morning held an emotional press conference on Sunday, to call for dramatic changes in the city’s police culture.

The shooting happened in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the city’s west side.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the dead as Bettie Jones, 55, and Quintonio LeGrier, 19.

Family members of Jones said that LeGrier, a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, was home for Christmas and visiting his father, landlord of the two-story wooden frame building where the shooting occurred.

They said police were called after LeGrier threatened his father with a metal baseball bat. Jones, who lived in the first-floor apartment, was shot through the door, according to relatives.

Janet Cooksey, LeGrier’s mother, insisted that her son was not violent.

“My son ran a marathon for charity last year,” she said. “He was an honor student.”

Jacqueline Walker, a long-time friend of Jones, described the behavior of police as, “ridiculous,” and said they should have resolved the conflict with a taser instead of a gun.

“Why do you have to shoot first and ask questions later?” she said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently replaced the superintendent of police, but activist Ja’Mal Green told reporters at the briefing that was not enough.

“This is a message to the mayor. You failed us before. You need to either step up, or step down.”

But a nephew of Jones accompanied his demands for change with calls for compassion, both for the families of the victims and for the city’s police officers.

“This is a time for compassion, not hate,” said Jamal Cole.

High-profile killings of black men by police officers since mid-2014 have triggered waves of angry protest across the country and fueled a renewed civil rights movement under the name Black Lives Matter.

Tags : change, demand, police, Chicago, Dead, Shot, people, Families

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