The mother and father of 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette, killed by a Waukegan police officer last week, said this has been the longest journey of their lives. Both spoke at a press conference on Tuesday after driving to Waukegan from Florida.
Earlier in the day, Stinnette’s girlfriend spoke from her hospital bed. 20-year-old Tafara Williams was seriously injured in the same shooting.
“I lost more than a boyfriend that day,” Williams said. “I lost the love of my life and the father of my 7-month-old son.”
Williams’ family held a press conference in front of city hall with their attorneys, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci.
Williams was emotional when describing what happened.
“The car ended up slamming into a building. I kept screaming, ‘I don’t have a gun’ but he kept shooting,” said Williams.
Waukegan Police have said an officer tried to stop the couple’s vehicle, but they fled.
A few blocks away, another officer approached them, but police said the vehicle was thrown in reverse.
Police said the officer feared for his life and opened fire.
But days later, Waukegan’s police chief said the officer involved was fired for “multiple policy and procedure violations.”
“You don’t have to say no more, just show the video,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said.
The release of police video from the incident is imminent, according to Crump, who’s been speaking with Waukegan’s mayor.
Attorney Antonio Romanucci also represents Willams’ family.
“We’ve been assured and promised transparency. I’m going to take that to heart,” Romanucci said.
Both attorneys are calling for a criminal investigation into the fired officer’s actions.
They plan to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary relief, as well as demanding a review of police policies and procedures.