Woman shot by police speaks at emotional rally in Waukegan
About 200 people rallied in Waukegan Saturday afternoon to protest the police shooting Tuesday night that killed Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and seriously injured his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, who is still in the hospital.
In the most emotional moment of the gathering, Clifftina Johnson, Williams' mother, held her cellphone up to a megaphone as Williams spoke to the crowd from her hospital bed and as her and Stinnette's 7-month-old son, Marcellis Stinnette Jr., was held by an aunt, Sharay Johnson.
"Don't allow them to do this to us. No justice, no peace. I won't sleep until Marcellis gets justice. He didn't deserve it, and they waited for him to die. No justice, no peace. And my son don't have a father no more, but I'm fighting for him, and I'm in this hospital, and I'm trying to be strong," Williams said.
The rally, organized by Clyde McLemore, the founder of the Lake County chapter of Black Lives Matter, came less than 24 hours after the city announced that it had fired the officer who fired into a stopped vehicle that police say was backing toward the officer, leaving the officer in fear of his life. No gun was found in the vehicle, which was being driven by Williams. Both people shot are Black.
The officer, who had been on the force about five years, was dismissed "for multiple policy and procedure violations," a news release said.
The shooting is being reviewed by the Illinois State Police, but on Friday the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to join in the review the case at the request of Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim.
Relatives of the people shot and member of Black Lives Matter had said they wanted the Justice Department involved. They also are seeking the release of police video and asking that a special prosecutor rather than Nerheim review the findings of the investigations to decide if charges should be brought against the officer.
Police say an officer, who is white, was investigating a suspicious vehicle that fled near Liberty and Oak streets. A second officer, who is Hispanic, located the vehicle a few blocks away when the shooting occurred.
The family has heard conflicting versions of the encounter, including assertions Williams did not flee the first police officer but had been allowed to proceed, Stinette's cousin, Satrese Stallworth, has said.