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Illinois cop who fatally shot Black teen during traffic stop has been terminated

The Waukegan Police Department said the cop was guilty of “multiple policy and procedure violations.”

Marcellis Stinette María Inés Zamudio / WBEZ

The Illinois cop behind the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette has been terminated. Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles made the announcement on Friday (Oct. 23), noting the officer involved committed “multiple policy and procedure violations.”

As REVOLT previously reported, Stinnette and his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, were sitting in a vehicle when they were approached by an officer who believed their car to be “suspicious.” Amid the investigation, the car reportedly pulled off and was later discovered by a Hispanic cop who fired at the vehicle as it was allegedly reversing towards him. His shots killed Stinnette and wounded Williams.

Conflicting reports have since countered the authorities’ accounts. According to a Daily Herald report, a witness claimed the Hispanic officer crashed into the young couple before he began shooting. In another account, Williams only moved her car after she’d been given permission by the white officer. In witness Darrell Mosier’s narrative, he mentioned Williams was compliant with officers.

“The police officer got out of the car. When he told them to stop, he told her to stop. She was scared. She put her up hands, she started yelling, ‘Why you got a gun?’ She started screaming. He just started shooting,” Mosier said.

“I heard the girl,” he added. “Her hands went up. She said, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it. I didn’t try to run you over. We got no guns or nothing.’”

Williams and Stinnette’s family are questioning what actions warranted the shooting as no firearms were found in the vehicle.

“Why did you shoot? I didn’t do nothing wrong. I have a license. You didn’t tell me I was under arrest. Why did you just flame up my car like that? Why did you shoot?” Williams asked.

The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force is currently investigating the incident and reviewing body camera and squad camera footage. The FBI announced they will also look into the shooting.

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