Cop fired over

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A Waukegan, Illinois, police officer who fatally shot a Black teenager and wounded a woman earlier this week has been fired, the city’s police chief announced Friday night. The officer, whose name has not yet been released, was fired for “multiple policy and procedure violations,” Chief Wayne Walles said in a statement. 

The shooting occurred late Tuesday night after an officer was “investigating an occupied vehicle” and the suspects fled the scene, police said. After a second officer spotted and approached the vehicle, the car began moving in reverse towards him, police said, adding that the officer then opened fire with his semi-automatic pistol. 

The passenger in the vehicle, 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette, was hit by the gunfire and later died of his wounds at a local hospital. The driver, later identified as Stinnette’s girlfriend, was hospitalized with serious injuries. Walles said Friday that she is continuing to receive treatment.

Walles did not provide any additional information about the shooting or about the specific violations the officer was found to have committed. 

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Police said previously that the officer who shot Stinnette is a Hispanic man who has been on the force for five years. The officer was initially placed on administrative leave. 

Earlier Friday, the FBI agreed to join Illinois State Police in investigating the shooting, according to Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim. The state’s attorney said he previously called the Justice Department and requested a review of the case.

“I am confident in the work being done by the Illinois State Police and welcome the assistance of the FBI. As I have said before, once the investigation is concluded, all the evidence will be reviewed and a final decision will be made with respect to any potential charges,” Nerheim said in a statement.

Marcellis Stinnette Protest
Protesters march after the fatal police shooting of Marcellis Stinnette in Waukegan, Illinois, on October 22, 2020.

Nam Y. Huh / AP


The mother of Stinnette’s girlfriend Tafara Williams told reporters that her daughter begged for her life during the shooting. 

“When I got there, she said, ‘Momma, they just shot us for nothing,'” said Clifftina Johnson. “My daughter said she put her hand up and if she didn’t put her hand up, she said ‘Momma, I would be dead.'”

Protesters took to the streets in Waukegan on Thursday, calling on the Department of Justice to take over the investigation and demanding that police release body camera footage of the incident. 

Stinette’s grandmother decried her grandson’s death. “They were human beings. They deserved to live — 19 years old,” Sherrellis Stinnette told CBS Chicago. “He left a baby behind; left five sisters and a mother and a father behind.”

Justin Carissimo contributed reporting. 

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