The family of a woman Chicago police say was accidentally shot by an officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, NBC Chicago reports.
Bettie Jones, a mother of five, was fatally shot when police responded to a domestic dispute at a residence on the city’s West Side a day after Christmas. Police were called to the home by the father of college student Quintonio LeGrier, who was allegedly holding a baseball bat when police arrived. The 19-year-old’s mother previously said her son was battling mental health issues.
Jones, who lived on the first floor of the building, opened the door for police. Authorities have not yet released details of what happened next, but in the end, Jones was shot and killed by police. LeGrier was also shot and killed during the incident.
Police initially called LeGrier a “combative subject,” but a wrongful death suit filed by the teenager’s father just two days after his death states that the student was unarmed “and never posed a danger of threat or harm,” NBC News reported.
It called the shooting “excessive and unreasonable” and said officers “did not do anything to try to provide [Quintonio LeGrier] with medical care.”
While police admitted that Jones was “tragically” killed by accident, the suit, filed Monday, alleges that an officer told one of Jones’ children that she needed to “get over” her mother’s death as she was asking for help.
The release states that Jones “never posed a danger or threat of harm to police or any other person. It also states that she never possessed a firearm and that there was no probable cause or legal justification to fire at her.
The suit includes a claim for unintentional emotional distress for her daughter as a result of the shooting.
Over the holidays, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez — who has faced criticism in recent months over the handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting and video — asked the FBI to investigate Jones’ shooting.
“This is a deeply disturbing incident that demands a very deliberate and meticulous independent investigation,” Alvarez said in a statement. “At this stage, the investigation is being conducted by IPRA, but my office has also contacted the FBI to request their involvement as well.”