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Video of fatal Illinois police shooting of Marcellis Stinnette will be released this week, mayor says

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/27/2020 N'dea Yancey-Bragg and Grace Hauck, USA TODAY
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Video of the fatal police shooting of a Black teen and wounding of a Black woman in Illinois will be released this week, the city's mayor said.

A police officer in Waukegan shot and killed Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and wounded Tafara Williams, 20, last Tuesday. Mayor Sam Cunningham said the city plans to publicly release bodycam and dashcam video of the shooting after Stinnette's family has reviewed the footage, according to the Daily Herald. 

“Let’s be clear: This situation requires their approval before we move on,” Cunningham said during a prayer vigil for Stinnette on Sunday. 

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Cunningham said he intends to release the video before Thursday, the deadline that a Freedom of Information Act request requires, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Cunningham urged the community to "respect the process," which so far has resulted in the Waukegan Police Department firing the officer involved. The officer, who was identified only as a Hispanic five-year member of the department, was terminated Friday night "for multiple policy and procedure violations," Department Commander Edgar Navarro said in a news release.

a group of people looking at the camera: WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS: Sherrellis Stinnette, the grandmother of 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette, joins demonstrators protesting the October 20 police shooting that left her grandson dead and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Tafara Williams, with serious injuries on October 22, 2020 in Waukegan, Illinois. About 100 protestors, including many family members of the shooting victims, marched from the shooting scene to City Hall, making stops at the police station and courthouse along the way. The demonstrators denounced violence but demanded accountability in statements along the way. © Scott Olson, Getty Images WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS: Sherrellis Stinnette, the grandmother of 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette, joins demonstrators protesting the October 20 police shooting that left her grandson dead and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Tafara Williams, with serious injuries on October 22, 2020 in Waukegan, Illinois. About 100 protestors, including many family members of the shooting victims, marched from the shooting scene to City Hall, making stops at the police station and courthouse along the way. The demonstrators denounced violence but demanded accountability in statements along the way.

Officer fired: Illinois police officer who fatally shot Black teen Marcellis Stinnette has been fired

The announcement about the video followed multiple days of protests in Waukegan. Williams, who is still in the hospital, spoke to a group of about 200 protesters via cellphone Saturday and said she “won’t sleep until Marcellis gets justice," according to the Tribune.

“Don’t allow them to do this to us. No justice, no peace," Williams said. "And my son don’t have a father no more, but I’m fighting for him, and I’m in this hospital, and I’m trying to be strong."

The police video of the shooting is important because the police version of events and the version Clifftina Johnson said her wounded daughter, Williams, shared with her appear to contradict each other, activist Chris Blanks told The Associated Press.

Johnson said her daughter told her the couple had done nothing to provoke the officer.

Waukegan police said the couple fled a traffic stop just before midnight Tuesday. As a second officer approached, the vehicle started moving in reverse, police said. The initial police report said the officer was "in fear for his safety" and shot Stinnette and Williams. No weapon was found in the vehicle.

'Mama, they just shot us for nothing': Illinois police officer fatally shoots Black teen, injures woman

Illinois State Police's Public Integrity Task Force was investigating the incident, and the Waukegan Police Department had turned over all reports, body cam and dashcam videos, Navarro said.

Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said last week that he would review the state police investigation and make the "entire case file" available to the public once complete.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Video of fatal Illinois police shooting of Marcellis Stinnette will be released this week, mayor says

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