/  10.28.2020

On Wednesday (Oct. 28), the Waukegan Police Department released the dashcam and body cam videos of the police shooting that left a 19-year-old Black father dead and his girlfriend injured.

According to officials, the officer, who is now terminated from the department, did not have his body camera on until after shooting Marcellis Stinnette and Tafara Williams.

In one part of the video, an officer told Stinnette that he remembered him from jail and said that he had a warrant out for his arrest. After the cop told him to get out of the car, Williams asked, “He’s under arrest for what though?” before speeding off.

The dashcam footage showed their car speeding away. The officer fired several shots after telling Williams to stop the vehicle. Almost immediately after the shooting, the officer turned his body camera on and the first words he said were, “You almost tried to run me over!”

Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham said the officer did not have his body cam activated, which is “a breach of Waukegan Police Department policies and one of the reasons for the officer’s termination.”

The families were shown the video on Wednesday. They held a press conference to discuss what they viewed, but their attorneys believe there is more footage that they were not shown.

“After viewing the video clips from the shooting that killed Marcellus and injured Tafara, it is evident that this is a clear and disturbing case, yet again, of police creating a false narrative,” said Attorney Benjamin Crump. “This presents an incredible obstacle to learning the truth in this tragic case. Body cams act as an essential bridge between law enforcement and the public they are sworn to protect while helping ensure transparency and accountability, and building the trust that is still so painfully lacking.”

“The use of deadly force in this tragic incident was not appropriate to the circumstances,” said Attorney Antonio Romanucci. “Furthermore, the officer had an ‘oh crap’ moment, knew what he was doing and his first words when he turned on his body cameras after the shooting were to create a false narrative for what had transpired to justify the shooting of innocent people. The lack of transparency here is shameful. Either the officer affirmatively chose not to turn on his body cam, or there is additional footage that we have not yet seen. We call for all information about this tragedy to be made public.” 

Check out the video below.


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