Waukegan Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Teen Fired

Police said officers fired "in self defense"

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The Waukegan police officer who fatally shot a Black teen Tuesday night has been fired for "multiple policy and procedure violations," according to a news release issued Friday night by the city's police chief.

Marcellis Stinnette, 19, was fatally shot and Tafara Williams, 20, sustained injuries in the shooting just before midnight Tuesday near the intersection of Liberty Street and Oak Street.

Authorities say a vehicle occupied by both individuals fled the area after an officer approached the vehicle.

Moments later, police said another officer spotted the car near Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and South Avenue. When that officer got out of his car, police said the vehicle began to reverse.

According to officials, the officer then fired his weapon "in self defense," striking both Williams and Stinnette.  

"I heard the girl. Her hands went up -- 'I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to do it' -- no gun or nothing," Darrell Mosier, a witness to the incident, said.

No weapons were found in the vehicle, police said.

On Thursday, peaceful protesters took to the streets, demanding answers about what happened.

In accordance with department policy, state police will conduct an independent investigation into the shooting. The matter will then be turned over to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to a news release from Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim, he contacted Justice Department officials on Wednesday, and they agreed to review the incident.

On Friday, officials announced that the FBI is assisting the Illinois State Police in the investigation.

“The FBI is aware of the death of Marcellis Stinnette and will review all available facts of the incident to determine if a federal response is warranted,” FBI Special Agent Siobhan Johnson said.

Williams is being represented by Ben Crump, a national civil rights attorney, who also represents Jacob Blake as well as the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

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