UPDATED: December 28, 2015 7:45 PM EST
Several days after protests broke out after Chicago police shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones, embattled Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s office announced plans on Monday to cut short his vacation in Cuba to address the fallout, according to DNAinfo Chicago:
Emanuel’s press office announced Monday that he would be returning to the city Tuesday to deal with “the ongoing work of restoring accountability and trust in the Chicago Police Department.”
“While Mayor Emanuel has been in constant contact with his staff and Interim [Police] Supt. [John] Escalante, he is cutting his family trip short so that he can continue the ongoing work of restoring accountability and trust in the Chicago Police Department,” said mayoral spokeswoman Kelley Quinn. “He will arrive back in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.”
Yet just how much he was cutting his trip off remained at issue. He has not had a public event since the week before Christmas, and he left for Cuba with his family later that weekend.
Emanuel has faced intense scrutiny since the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video. The recording showed officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the teen more than 10 times in October 2014.
SOURCE: DNAinfo Chicago | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform
UPDATED: Saturday, December 26, 11:00 PM EST
In a statement released Saturday night, the Chicago Police Department confirmed that a 55-year-old woman who was fatally shot by officers early morning was struck by accident.
The officer who discharged his weapon has been placed on administrative leave for 30 days, ABC News reports.
“The 55 year old female victim was accidentally struck and tragically killed,” police said. “The department extends it’s deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends.”
“This new policy which was implemented by Superintendent [John] Escalante, will ensure separation from field duties while training and fitness for duty requirements can be conducted,” police said in the statement. “Going forward, this will be standard protocol following all officer-involved shootings.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is currently in Cuba on a family vacation, released a statement saying he has been informed that the Independent Police Review authority is looking into the shooting.
“Anytime an officer uses force the public deserves answers, and regardless of the circumstances, we all grieve anytime there is a loss of life in our city,” Emmanuel said in a statement.
Two people, identified as a 19-year-old college student and a 55-year-old-woman, were fatally shot by Chicago police as officers were responding to a domestic dispute early Saturday morning.
Quintonio Legrier, a student at Northern Illinois University, was reportedly “carrying a bat and threatening his father,” when police responded to the call, the Chicago Tribune writes. Bettie Jones, a mother of five who lived on the first floor of the building, answered the door for police when they arrived at the residence. She was shot shortly after.
A statement released by the department provided very little detail, but according to police, officers “were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals.”
From the Tribune:
Relatives said police were called to the home by LeGrier’s father because his son was agitated and carrying a metal bat, family members said.
“His father was scared because that’s not his character,” said LeGrier’s mother, Janet Cooksey, 49, who was not present at the time of the shooting.
LeGrier’s father told Jones downstairs not to approach his son and to keep an eye out for police.
Responding officers were told by a dispatcher that a “male caller said someone is threatening his life. It’s also coming in as a domestic. The 19-year-old son is banging on his bedroom door with a baseball bat.” Officers from District 11 arrived at the home about 4:25 a.m.
According to a relative of the teenager, LeGrier was shot coming out the front door. It is unclear how Jones, asked by LeGrier’s father to keep an eye out for the police, was shot. Her daughter, Latisha Jones, said she checked to see if her mother was still breathing when she found her on the floor of the apartment unit. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“I’m numb right now,” said her brother, Melvin Jones. “Right now there’s a whole lot of anger, a whole lot of tears.
The teenager’s mother, who told reporters her son — who she says has dealt with mental health issues — was shot seven times, questioned how police responded to the call, especially in the wake of police-involved shootings within the department and the recent release of two videos showing both the deaths of Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson at the hands of officers.
“He’s gone, he’s gone. Seven times he was shot,” Janet Cooksey said. “He didn’t have a gun. He had a bat. One or two times would have brought him down.
“You call the police, you try to get help and you lose a loved one,” she said. “What are they trained for? Just to kill? I thought that we were supposed to get service and protection. I mean, my son was an honors student. He’s here for Christmas break, and now I’ve lost him.
She directed her anger at Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been under fire since the video was released last month showing a Chicago police officer fatally shooting the 17-year-old McDonald, firing 16 times.
“Are we gonna get protected or is the police just gonna keep taking lives?” Cooksey said. “I mean, whose gonna answer these questions? Emanuel, I want a personal apology for my son’s life. I don’t want you to get on the news and say you’re so … I want a personal apology.”
An investigation continues. The officers involved have not been identified.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty