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Officer Involved in Fatal Illinois Shooting Has Been Fired

Illinois residents are still grieving after police opened fire on an unarmed Black couple, resulting in one fatality. 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette will never get to see his family again. Tafarra Willams, the mother of his baby, was also wounded in the shooting. We know their names; however, we do not know the name of the police officer involved, who was allegedly fired late Friday. Although he was let go, he has yet to be identified.

Waukegan Chief of Police Wayne Walles made the following statement: "In the evening hours of October 23, 2020 the City of Waukegan terminated the officer that discharged his firearm during that incident, for multiple policy and procedure violations,"

The description of the events that took place Tuesday night are heartbreaking. The Waukegan Police Department explained that the vehicle Macellis was sitting in was “suspicious” and was approached by two officers.

Things took a fatal turn when the car was approached by the second officer. Edgar Navarro of the Waukegan Police Department claims "That officer exited his vehicle and the vehicle that he was investigating began to reverse toward the officer. The officer then pulled out his duty weapon and fired into the vehicle that was reversing. Both occupants were struck."

Tafarra Williams was the driver and had been struck in the hand and stomach. Thankfully, Williams did not sustain any life threatening injuries. She is currently in the hospital recovering from those wounds.

Mayor Sam Cunningham says he knows the families of the victims in this shooting personally. But Cunningham seemed more concerned about the potential riots and protests that have accompanied the shooting deaths of Black men and women this year. Cunningham said: “I’m nervous for Waukegan. We have seen this play out throughout this country. It just rips through communities and it takes years to rebuild."

Protests have remained relatively small and peaceful in the days since the killing. Sherrellis Stinnette, the grandmother of the 19-year-old victim was seen visibly shaken at a demonstration this past Thursday.

Esteemed civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio M. Romanucci announced Friday that they would be representing Tafarra Willams. They have previously represented the families of George Floyd and Daniel Prude.

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