Police Officer Sues Family of Student He Shot to Death

Yeah, you read that right

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Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Protesters gather at the courthouse prior to the first Freddie Gray hearings on Sept. 2, 2015 in Baltimore, Md. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

Z Goodman, Staff Reporter

On 4700 block of West Erie Street in Chicago on December 26th at around 4AM college student Quintonio LeGrier and a fifty five year old  bystander Bettie Jones were shot in the apartment complex. The officer Robert Rialmo had been responding to a domestic abuse call. Rialmo, the responding officer said he was  “confronted by a combative subject, resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon.” The woman was “accidentally struck,” according to the official police statement.

Not many other details regarding the incident but the mother of the college student  has revealed that he was struggling with mental health issues and that that the weapon the “combative subject” had in his possession was a baseball bat. (New York Times) The officer claimed that if he had not used lethal force with LeGrier,  the young man would have fatally harmed him. The talk about police brutality has been erupted and the talk about civil rights violations has entered the playing field. (Washington Post).

The officer that fatally shot both Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier is suing the college student’s estate for $10 million dollars in damages. Robert Rialmo claimed that he had suffered “emotional trauma” as a result of the shooting. Rialmo is claiming that he did not see bystander Bettie Jones and that he feels horribly about her death.

Many people do not feel that the lawsuit is ethical. Basileios J. Foutris a lawyer of Quintonio LeGreier’s estate says that “It’s a new low for the Chicago Police Department.” The lawsuit has been described by many other as “outrageous” or “ridiculous”. Officer Rialmo’s story is now being continually challenged by Civil Rights groups.

Police brutality is a prevalent issue in the United States. From Trayvon Martin to Eric Garner, America has been racked with cases of brutality. Organizations such as Black Lives Matter were created for the cause of ending brutality. Many police brutality cases end with the family of the victim suing the police department for damages. However, in Chicago Illinois this was not the case.

The incident that took place that night in Chicago, Illinois was henious and could have possibly caused emotional damage to all involved. Travis Davis, a resident from Fort Drum New York says, “This is beyond disrespectful. The victim’s family should be allowed to mourn in peace.” Many other people agree with Ms. Davis on this topic. In the end, we only know what time tells us and eventually justice will be served.