A Chicago police officer shoots a teen and a grandmother. The officer claims self defense. The prosecution leans in favor of the cop and declines to press charges finding no wrongdoing on the officer’s part. Months later a civilian oversight board decides that the officer did in fact break protocol and is found to be unjustified in the shooting. One would assume that maybe charges are in order but the oversight board doesn’t offer any suggestions as to punishment for the officer. What do you do?
Well a police officer who avoided being charged by prosecutors in early 2017 has been found to be unjustified of his shooting of a teen and a grandmother. The city oversight board stated that Officer Robert Rialmo had no evidence supporting his claim that he shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones two years ago. Rialmo claimed that the teen advanced on officers while wielding a baseball bat in a threatening way reports the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune.
Fox 32 reports:
“In the LeGrier and Jones shooting, Rialmo, who is white, and his partner were responding to at least one 911 call about a domestic disturbance involving LeGrier and his father.
According to Rialmo’s initial account, Jones, who lived in the ground-floor apartment, answered the door and pointed the officers to an upstairs apartment. As she turned to walk back to her unit, LeGrier allegedly emerged from the doorway brandishing a bat over his head.
Rialmo said he drew his weapon while backing down the stairs as he ordered LeGrier to drop the bat. He said he was in fear of his life when he fired at least three times, hitting LeGrier in the chest.
Rialmo said when he checked on LeGrier, he discovered Jones lying on her back.”
Attorney for Rialmo, Joel Brodsky, blasted the report by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) alleging that the board’s conclusions are “designed to preserve votes for the mayor at the expense of a good police officer who was doing his job.”
“COPA’s conclusions, which are unsupported by the facts, are clearly political in nature,” Brodsky said in a statement.
COPA’s report also infers that Rialmo acted unreasonably offering that a “reasonable officer” would not have believed he was in danger of death or serious injury. The report however did not suggest any punishment for the officer after avoiding any criminal charges in the shooting death.
Both LeGrier’s and Jones’ estates are suing Rialmo and the city for wrongful death. Rialmo has filed a countersuit saying LeGrier attacked him with a baseball bat, forcing him to kill him. Rialmo has also sued the City of Chicago saying he was not properly trained to reduce tensions in heated encounters with mentally ill people.
Reuters reports, “LeGrier was shot six times, including twice in the back. Jones was hit once in the chest, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said in autopsy reports.”