Waukegan mayor, Stinnette family preach patience at prayer vigil

  • Kay'lyn Bates, 7, of Waukegan, holds a candle Sunday during a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette, a Black teen shot to death by a Waukegan police officer Tuesday.

    Kay'lyn Bates, 7, of Waukegan, holds a candle Sunday during a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette, a Black teen shot to death by a Waukegan police officer Tuesday. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • Roderick Stinnette of Waukegan, in gray and denim blue coat, comforts his mother, Sherrellis Stinnette, the grandmother of Marcellis Stinnette, during a prayer vigil Sunday in memory of the Waukegan teen. Marcellis Stinnette was killed Tuesday in a police-involved shooting.

    Roderick Stinnette of Waukegan, in gray and denim blue coat, comforts his mother, Sherrellis Stinnette, the grandmother of Marcellis Stinnette, during a prayer vigil Sunday in memory of the Waukegan teen. Marcellis Stinnette was killed Tuesday in a police-involved shooting. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham urged residents to be patient while awaiting the results of an investigation into the police killing of a Black teen in the city last week.

    Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham urged residents to be patient while awaiting the results of an investigation into the police killing of a Black teen in the city last week. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham, center in baseball cap, listens as musicians, from right to left, Shelby Obleton of Waukegan, Faith Johnson of Waukegan and Kita Edwards of Gurnee, perform Sunday during a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette,

    Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham, center in baseball cap, listens as musicians, from right to left, Shelby Obleton of Waukegan, Faith Johnson of Waukegan and Kita Edwards of Gurnee, perform Sunday during a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette, Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • LaDena Chisum of Waukegan was among the city residents who gathered Sunday for a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette, a Black teen shot to death by a Waukegan police officer Tuesday.

    LaDena Chisum of Waukegan was among the city residents who gathered Sunday for a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette, a Black teen shot to death by a Waukegan police officer Tuesday. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

  • Kay'lyn Bates, 7, of Waukegan, works to get her candle illuminated Sunday during a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette, a Black teen shot to death by a Waukegan police officer Tuesday.

    Kay'lyn Bates, 7, of Waukegan, works to get her candle illuminated Sunday during a prayer vigil in memory of Marcellis Stinnette, a Black teen shot to death by a Waukegan police officer Tuesday. Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald

 
Updated 10/25/2020 8:27 PM

Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham and a spokesperson for the family of Marcellis Stinnette urged people gathered for a prayer vigil Sunday in memory of the Black teen killed by a police officer to let the process of justice take its due course.

A large crowd flocked to the corner of South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Helmholz Avenue for the vigil, one of several events held in the wake of Tuesday's fatal shooting of Stinnette, 19, by an officer who's since been fired.

 

Speakers included Cunningham, police Chief Wayne Walles, relatives of Stinnette and Tafara Williams -- who was wounded in the shooting -- and family members of Jacob Blake and George Floyd.

Also present was Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim, who last week asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the case.

Williams' sister, Sasha Williams, said her sister is working to recover her strength so she can return to caring for her children.

"We shouldn't have to say, 'Don't shoot us,'" Williams said. "We shouldn't have to come outside and fear for our lives. We shouldn't be afraid of the police."

Walles offered his condolences to the families of Stinnette and Williams.

"There is power in prayer, and the more of us that are together and praying, and praying for each other and everybody involved in this terrible incident, will help us heal and move forward," he said.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Cunningham urged the community to "respect the process" and "if you don't like it, then we go to work."

But his comments were interrupted by Waukegan resident Rayon Edwards, who was critical of the city's initial response to the shooting.

"We needed you to do that for three days. We have been watching for three days. We have been fighting for three days," he said.

Cunningham said the city intends to publicly release the bodycam and dashcam video recordings of the shooting, but only after the Stinnette family sees it first.

"Let's be clear, this situation requires their approval before we move on," he said.

Others, including Stinnette's cousin, Satrese Stallworth, were more appreciative of the city's response.

"(Stinnette's) life was stolen on Tuesday. On Friday, an officer was (fired)," Stallworth said. "That speaks volumes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But she said the fight is just beginning.

"We're asking that you be patient," she said. "Don't tear up. Don't burn down. Don't destroy."

"I don't want (anybody) to think that we are trying to be rowdy," Edwards added. "We're not. What we want is what we have been asking for, and that is justice."

Police said Stinnette and Williams were in a vehicle that fled a traffic stop late Tuesday. It was spotted a short time later by an officer on patrol. While the officer was approaching the vehicle, it began moving in reverse, leading the officer to open fire, police said.

City officials released a statement Friday night saying they had fired the officer, a five-year veteran, for multiple policy and procedure violations.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.