The family of a mother of five who was "accidentally" killed in a police-involved shooting Saturday on the city's West Side met privately with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
City SUVs showed up to take the grieving family to City Hall early Wednesday evening for a meeting that lasted around 25 minutes.
“They just had the trauma of viewing their mother’s body at the morgue for the first time,” family spokesman Eric Russell said.
The family’s attorneys said the mayor wanted to make sure he expressed his sorrow for their loss face-to-face.
“He made it clear that he cut his trip short to Cuba with his family to come back and tell the family how he felt and to express his condolences personally,” according to family attorney Sam Adam, Jr.
Last weekend, police shot and killed 19-year-old Quintonio Legrier, who was armed with a bat. In that same incident, 55-year-old neighbor Bettie Jones was also fatally shot.
With increasing public outcry over recent shootings by Chicago Police, Emanuel announced on Wednesday sweeping changes in police training, including a new requirement that every beat car responding to a call be equipped with a Taser.
"It’s about helping them realize the multitude of responses that are available in a tense situation," Emanuel said. "There’s a difference between when someone can use a gun and when someone should use a gun."
In saying that, Emanuel conceded that police in Chicago had shot and killed too many people who were not armed with guns, and that not enough opportunities had been taken to reduce tension through other means.
However, neither the mayor nor Escalante would address the incident that led to the deaths of Jones and Legrier Wednesday, citing the ongoing investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority.
“They’re shooting through walls, they’re shooting through doorways and they kill and innocent person. That’s not an accident, that’s absolutely reckless conduct that is intolerable,” Larry Rogers, Jr. said.
The attorneys said they have not been able to get information despite their requests.
“We’ve asked for audio, we’ve asked for photographs of the shell casings and it looks like we’re not going to get those things pre-suit,” Adam said.
The new initiatives announced Wednesday arrive amid continuing public outrage over not only last Saturday’s shootings, but the 2014 death of teenager LaQuan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by a Chicago Police officer who now faces charges of first degree murder. First responding officers who met up with McDonald had called for an officer with a Taser, but before one could arrive, the 17-year-old was shot and killed.