Waukegan police fire officer after fatal shooting of 19-year-old Black man

Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A police officer in Waukegan, Ill., has been fired after shooting and killing a 19-year-old Black man and killing his girlfriend, officials announced Friday.

Wayne Walles, chief of the Waukegan Police Department, said in a press release that the officer -- who the city has not named publicly -- was fired for "multiple policy and procedure violations" related to the death of Marcellis Stinnette and the wounding of Tafara Williams.


The city's release did not name the officer or specify the violations, but city officials have said the officer was Hispanic and had worked for the city for about five years.

Stinnette and Williams were shot Tuesday night. Williams is expected to recover.

The city's announcement followed an announcement by Lake County state's attorney, Mike Nerheim, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will review the shooting.

The Illinois State Police are also investigating the shooting.

"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. "Having all available resources and as many independent fresh eyes as possible is critical to this process."


Family members and activists had called for an independent investigation during a Thursday rally in Waukegan.

Civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio M. Romanucci announced Friday that they have been retained to represent Williams.

Police said the officer opened fire on Williams and Stinnette, who are both Black, when their vehicle backed toward him as he approached it during a Tuesday traffic stop.

"Ms. Williams' legal team will begin our own investigation into what happened during that incident, because we do not trust the police narrative in this case. We have seen over and over that the 'official' report when police kill Black people is far too often missing or misrepresenting details," said Crump, who has also represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, in a press release. "We will share our findings with the public when we have uncovered the truth."

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