The Chicago police officer who shot and killed 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, has decided to add insult to injury, by suing the family of his victim.
Just after Christmas, Officer Robert Rialmo stated that he plans on filing a lawsuit against the dead teenager’s family, because he says LeGrier somehow “assaulted” him, and thus caused him “emotional distress.”
Officer Rialmo says that he shot LeGrier seven times because the teen who had called the police for help – three times before they responded – had swung a bat at him.
But Rialmo also accidentally shot LeGrier’s neighbor, Bettie Jones, hitting her in the chest and killed her. Do you suppose that caused her some “emotional distress” before she died?
Witnesses refute the officer’s story, saying that LeGrier did not attack the officer, but was instead holding a baseball bat to defend himself from someone who had been threatening to kill him. That is in fact why LeGrier called the police – to report these threats to his life.
Rialmo says he plans to sue the family of his victim, saying that the decision was made after a hearing for the victims’ wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
Bill Foutris, one of several attorney for the LeGrier family, said in an interview with CBS Chicago, that this is nothing more than a “desperate attempt to distract” from the simple fact that Rialmo shot LeGrier four times – in the back – and thus cannot claim any legal justification, in spite of his imaginative story about a baseball bat attack.
Additionally, Think Progress notes that sometimes police officers criminally charge victims of brutality and murder with assault. This tactic known as a “cover charge.”
“New York City prosecutors even charged an unarmed police shooting victim with felony assault, for causing police to accidentally shoot bystanders when they were aiming for him,” they explain.
The Department of Justice says that they have opened an investigation into the Chicago Police Department, in order to determine if there is a pattern of abusive policing.
(Article by M. David and S. Wooten)