A witness is rebuking the excessive force used by police on a Chicago teen armed with a knife, according to ABC7 Chicago.
The boy, 17, was gunned down Monday night after police alleged he didn’t drop the weapon, according to the Chicago Tribune. Police were reportedly responding to a call of someone breaking into vehicles when they confronted the youth.
“They didn’t need to shoot him. They didn’t. They basically had him face-to-face. There was no purpose why they had to shoot him,” witness Alma Benitez told CBS Chicago.
Police allege the youth punctured one of the squad car’s front passenger-side tire and damaged the front windshield.
“When police tell you to drop a weapon, all you have to do is drop it,” Pat Camden a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police told the Tribune.
St. Louis Police faced similar criticism after shooting 25-year-old Kajieme Powell who was also armed with a knife.
Two police officers were responding to call of theft after Powell stole two energy drinks and pastries from a convenience store. Powell demanded officers shoot him as walked towards them with a steak knife in hand.
The two officers fired nine bullets into Powell. They then placed his lifeless body in handcuffs.
The Chicago PD has long been criticized for using excessive force.
Tamara Ball is still coming to terms with the fatal shooting of her 16-year-old son Warren Robinson by Chicago Police. Ball was on her way to a concert in Jefferson City with a friend when she received heart-wrenching news of her son’s death.
“I got the call,” Ball said. “At first I wasn’t going to answer the phone. But they kept calling and calling and calling. My niece texted me, asking me, ‘Was it true? Is Warren dead?’ I thought it was some kind of sick joke, so I didn’t respond to them.”
She eventually phoned her niece who broke the news to her. She later called her sister who confirmed her son was deceased.
Robinson, known to friends as Cutthroat Tunchie, was gunned down in a hail of bullets Saturday, July 5 after police alleged he pointed a gun at them.
Robinson’s death came after he allegedly hid under a car following a foot chase with police. Police allege Robinson didn’t drop his weapon upon getting out from under the car.
Robinson’s shooting death sparked a tense standoff between Gresham residents and police.
Robinson’s body was left at the scene for hours. Brown’s body, too, was left in the streets for hours before Ferguson police removed him.
“From my understanding, my son’s body was out there for hours,” Ball said. “I got the call between seven and eight. As I was trying to get to Chicago, it was midnight when they said they were just now getting my son’s body. I was over 300 miles away from Chicago in Jefferson.”
Ball says the police valued her son’s life less than “someone important.”
“I really don’t think they care,” she said. “The difference is if it was a police officer, attorney, someone important, their bodies would be up within 15, 20 minutes. If it’s an individual, they don’t care about him. If they can leave them out there, they would leave them out there.
“But because they gotta cover up what they did, they gon leave em out there for as long as they can,” she added.
Many police shootings have sparked cries of racism.
USA Today learned of racial disparities in police shootings and found a white police officer was involved in the killing of a black person nearly two times a week in the United States from 2005 to 2012.
The findings reportedly show 18 percent of blacks killed during those seven years were under age 21, compared to 8.7 percent of whites. This figures means blacks in this age demographic are 50 percent more likely to be killed by police than whites.
(Source: USA Today)
(Source: USA Today)
Eric Garner’s death occurred weeks prior to Brown’s death and sparked nationwide controversy. Garner died after he was confronted by police for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.
Ball says the fatal shooting of her son was a “personal kill.”
“That was personal,” she said. “It was deliberate. You took him out as if he was a terrorist. When you taking out a terrorist, a terrorist is personal because if I don’t get rid of this terrorist, this terrorist finna kill thousands of people so I need to take him out quickly. That’s how I feel like they did that to my son. They personally took him out as if he was a common hardcore criminal like he was a straight killer. He was nothing but 16 years old.”
Ball said there were multiple officers at the scene and the use of deadly force wasn’t necessary.
“That’s how many times you would shoot a person if they took one of your own or if they actually wounded one of your guys. If he didn’t wound one of your guys, he shouldn’t have been shot that many times. You are trained to wound a person.”
Ball alleges a witness of the incident was running to get her children or grandchildren when she saw Robinson with his hands in the air.
“That means there’s no pistol in his hand,” she said. “They said ‘Put the gun down, put the gun down. Shoot him.’ They said the lady cop, which is the white cop, shot him in his head. He begged for his life: ‘Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me.’”
Another witness, Ball said, is a “little boy” who recalled Robinson continuing to be shot as he laid motionless on the ground.
“He was already dead and they said they were still shooting my son,” Ball said. “If you don’t call that personal, I don’t know what you call it.”
Ball hopes to connect with Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden and “get something going.”
Ball said there is currently an investigation in her son’s shooting and that she has retained a lawyer.
The Independent Police Review Authority investigates all police-involved shootings. It can take up to 18 months before IPRA renders a decision on whether Robinson’s fatal shooting was justified.
The IPRA is currently investigating a number of police-related shooting deaths including the case of Marlon Horton.
Horton, 28, was fatally shot Sept. 7, 2013 by an off-duty officer. Footage surfaced showing the deadly confrontation between Horton and two security officers.
The off-duty police officer, identified as Kenneth Walker, was working as a security guard in a Near West Side Chicago Housing Authority building when he confronted Walker. Horton was at the building attempting to pick up his girlfriend when he was turned away by Horton and a female security guard.
Horton urinated on the officer’s truck upon leaving the building resulting in another confrontation with the guards. Footage shows the two guards attacking Horton before gunning him down.
The family of Horton has since filed a lawsuit against the city.
FOX 32 News Chicago
Ball hopes for support in securing justice for her son and ending police brutality.
“I didn’t get the proper help that I need,” she said. “I want justice served for my son.”
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