Chicago Police

Mother Marks Anniversary of Shooting Death of Teenage Son

Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the death of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, and his mother Janet Cooksey says she still thinks about her son every single day.

“I wish I had never taken him over to his father’s house,” she says.

It was at his father’s house where LeGrier, who was attending Northern Illinois University, was shot to death after police say he charged them with a baseball bat.

LeGrier had called police on three different occasions on that fateful day about a domestic disturbance. When police arrived on the scene, they say that LeGrier came at Officer Robert Rialmo with a baseball bat. Rialmo opened fire, striking LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones. Both LeGrier and Jones died from their injuries.

Prosecutors ultimately declined to file charges against Rialmo in the shootings. Earlier this month, the city of Chicago pursued plans to sue LeGrier’s estate in connection with the shooting, but quickly dropped the plan after a social media firestorm erupted.

“They don’t think they took enough from me,” Cooksey said. “And yet they try to bash his name. He was a good kid.”

Cooksey says that LeGrier wanted to be an electronic engineer, and she still listens to recordings the teen made of his writings.

“Morals are very important to me,” he said on the recordings.

“The first thing he said are that morals are important to him,” Cooksey said. “When I hear that and think about them, I wish they were important to Officer Rialmo and his partner. Perhaps if they were, I would have a child today.”

Now, Cooksey is still trying to put the shooting behind her, but she says there is one thing that brings her at least a measure of peace.

“The only thing that keeps me peaceful is to know he’s in a better place,” she said. 

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