Responsible for firing at a couple inside a car and fatally shooting the unarmed passenger, an Illinois police officer was terminated Friday from the Waukegan Police Department. According to the police chief, the officer was fired for “multiple policy and procedure violations.”
On Tuesday night, Tafara Williams, 20, was driving with her boyfriend, Marcellis Stinnette, 19, when a Waukegan police officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Williams and Stinnette allegedly fled from the scene and temporarily escaped from police.
A short time later, another officer spotted the vehicle and began to approach it with a fellow officer. According to police, Williams drove the car in reverse towards one of the officers.
The other officer reportedly fired into the vehicle in order to stop Williams from hitting his colleague with the car. But according to Williams, the couple did not provoke the police shooting.
“When I got there, she said, ‘Mama, they just shot us for nothing,’” Williams’ mother, Clifftina Johnson, told reporters on Wednesday. “My daughter said she put her hand up, and if she didn’t put her hand up, she said, ‘Mama, I would be dead.’”
Williams survived the shooting and remains in serious condition, while Stinnette died from his wounds. No weapon was found inside the vehicle.
On Friday, Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim confirmed that the FBI has agreed to join Illinois State Police in investigating the shooting. Nerheim released the following statement: “I am confident in the work being done by the Illinois State Police and welcome the assistance of the FBI. 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.”
Later that day, Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles announced that the officer who opened fire at Williams and Stinnette has been terminated from the department for “multiple policy and procedure violations.” Walles refused to release the identity of the officer or any further details.
On Friday night, civil right attorney Ben Crump confirmed that his office has been retained to represent Williams and issued the following statement: “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. We will share our findings with the public when we have uncovered the truth.”
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