Antonio LeGrier, the father of Quintonio LeGrier, a college student killed by Chicago police over the weekend, has already filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago. NBC News reported that LeGrier filed the lawsuit on Monday.
On Sunday morning, Antonio LeGrier called police to respond to his son, who suffered from mental illness and was banging on a door with a baseball bat. Chicago Police Department officers who responded to the incident claim Quintonio LeGrier acted aggressively and threatened them, so they used deadly force. Somehow, the police also managed to accidentally shoot Bettie Jones, a 55-year-old grandmother, who lived in a downstairs apartment.
Antonio LeGrier’s suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, said his son never posed a threat to police because he was only holding a baseball bat. It also said the shooting was “excessive and unreasonable” and the officers “did not do anything to try to provide [Quintonio LeGrier] with medical care.” According to The Chicago Tribune, Antonio LeGrier also accused the CPD of causing “emotional anxiety and mental trauma” by forcing him to remain at a police station until he provided a statement.
“Basically they were treating him like a criminal as if he had done something wrong, which he hadn’t,” said Basieilos Foutris, Antonio LeGrier’s lawyer, in an interview with The Chicago Tribune.
The lawsuit seeks $200,000 for the wrongful death of Quintonio LeGrier and the false arrest of Antonio LeGrier. The shooting of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones is the latest black eye to hit both the CPD and the city of Chicago.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut short his vacation to Cuba to respond to the incident. According to NBC News, Emanuel has ordered the Independent Police Review Authority to look into the shooting and review how the CPD deals with people suffering mental health issues. But Emanuel’s promise to reform the CPD doesn’t have much credibility.
The Laquan McDonald video shows the CPD has a reputation for suppressing information about questionable shootings and not disciplining wayward officers. Jason Van Dyke, the CPD officer who shot McDonald 16 times, had at least 20 complaints against him, none of which resulted in disciplinary action. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez only decided to indict him when the video was ordered released about a year after the shooting.
During that time, Van Dyke was assigned to desk duty and still on the CPD payroll. Many Chicago residents have called on Emanuel to step down because of his alleged role in the cover up of the McDonald shooting. The McDonald family has also called for Alvarez’s resignation. Chicago’s lack of action on police shootings has finally motivated the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch an investigation.
“The investigation into use of force, disparities in use of force and accountability systems of the CPD is being led by the Civil Rights Division with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois,” said a DOJ press statement.