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Mother Of Quintonio LeGrier, Teen Shot Dead By Police In 2015, Feels Justice Is Served With Officer Fired

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The mother of a teenager shot and killed by Chicago Police said four years later, her pain is still raw – but she finally feels like justice is served.

Janet Cooksey released balloons Thursday afternoon in Streeterville in honor of her son, Quintonio LeGrier.

LeGrier, 19, was shot and killed during a domestic call in 2015. His downstairs neighbor, Bettie Jones, was also killed during the commotion.

Austin Police Shooting  (Bettie Jones, Quintonio LeGrier)
A Chicago police officer shot and killed Bettie Jones (left) and Quintonio LeGrier (right) while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Dec. 26, 2015. Police said LeGrier was combative, and officers opened fire, killing him, and accidentally killing Jones. (Family provided photos)

In October of this year, the Police Board fired the officer involved – Robert Rialmo.

"It took four years, but I feel like I'm getting some justice for Quintonio," Cooksey said. "Robert Rialmo is no longer on the force, and that gives me the peace, and I'm sure as well as Quintonio."

When Rialmo responded to the call, LeGrier, apparently suffering from mental health problems, came running down the stairs with a baseball bat.

Rialmo fired eight shots, six of them hitting LeGrier, one of them hitting Jones, who was standing behind the teenager.

In December 2017, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability recommended Rialmo be fired, asserting investigators they found no evidence to support Rialmo's claim the shooting was necessary.

In November 2018, then-Police Supt. Eddie Johnson recommended Rialmo be fired, eight months after calling the shooting justified. The superintendent accused Rialmo of violating five department rules: conduct impeding the department's efforts to achieve its policy, and bringing discredit on the department; disobeying an order or directive; inattention to duty; incompetency; and unlawful or unnecessary use of a weapon.

On Oct. 17 of this year, the Police Board agreed.

That night, Police Board President Ghian Foreman read the board's ruling, which said in part: "This tragic case raises difficult, but important questions about when a police officer may use deadly force – specifically in this instance in which he knew, or reasonably should have known, that an innocent bystander was in his line of fire."

Foreman added, "Officer Rialmo had an obligation to reexamine his options in light of the presence of Ms. Jones."

He said the board had ruled that Rialmo's deadly use of force was "objectively unreasonable" given the totality of the circumstances and thus he must be fired.

The city also paid out a $16 million wrongful settlement to Jones' family.

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