Autopsy Reveals Chicago Police Shot 'Mentally Ill' Teen Multiple Times

Preliminary postmortem results shed new light on the fatal police shooting of a mother of five and a college student over the weekend.
December 28, 2015, 3:21pm
Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Preliminary autopsy results for two people fatally shot by Chicago police over the Christmas weekend reveal that Bettie Jones, 55, received a gunshot wound to the chest, while 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier died from multiple bullet wounds.

The Cook County medical examiner's office, which conducted the postmortems, listed both deaths as homicides. The report did not reveal the exact number of gunshots the teen sustained, although family said they had been told he had been shot seven times, according to the New York Times.

The shootings come as Chicago still reels from protests over the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, with calls for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel persisting throughout the week. In the wake of that death and other accusations leveled at the Chicago Police Department, including the CPD's alleged detention and abuse of suspects at a "black site" warehouse in the city, the Justice Department launched a probe into the department to determine if its officers systematically violate residents' constitutional rights.

The latest double shooting occurred as police were responding to reports of a domestic disturbance on Saturday. Family members said police were called after LeGrier threatened his father with a metal baseball bat. LeGrier, a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, was home for Christmas. His father is the landlord of the two-story wooden frame building where the shooting occurred.

Police said that Jones, a mother of five who lived in a first-floor apartment, was "struck by accident." A cousin, Evelyn Glover, said Jones was shot through the door.

"This needs to stop. No mother should have to bury her child," Janet Cooksey, LeGrier's mother, told a news conference in front of the home. She previously told reporters her son suffered from mental illness.

At the same conference, several people who spoke wore T-shirts reading, "Rahm Failed Us," while family members demanded to know why police used lethal force.

Related: US Attorney General Announces Justice Department Probe Into Chicago Police

After the news conference, about 100 people including neighbors and religious leaders held a vigil in neighborhood streets, with many saying they did not trust the police to be truthful about what happened.

"We are under siege here in Chicago," Ira Acree, pastor of the Greater St. John Bible Church, said at the vigil. "Trigger-happy cops are still engaged in senseless murders of people of color."

On Sunday, Emanuel called for a review of the CPD's crisis intervention training and how officers respond to mental health crisis calls.

The city's Independent Police Review Authority is investigating both shootings, and will share its evidence with the county prosecutor's office.

Police said an unspecified weapon was recovered from the scene of the latest shooting and no officers were hurt. They did not say whether there was a video of the incident, provided no information on officers involved, and said the department was unlikely to say any more on Sunday.