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Crowd Takes To Streets In Waukegan After Police Shoot, Kill 19-Year-Old Marcellis Stinnette

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) -- Dozens of people took to the streets in Waukegan on Thursday, after police there shot and killed a teenager.

As CBS 2's Jeremy Ross reported, a representative from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition visited with family members Thursday afternoon in the neighborhood where the shooting happened. It capped off a day of peaceful protests, but also a day of not many additional answers for family.

Dozens of family members and strangers marched earlier in the day. They remembered the life of Marcellis Stinnette, 19, who was shot and killed by police earlier this week.

Marcellis Stinnette
Marcellis Stinnette (Credit: Legal Help Firm)

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Stinnette's girlfriend, Tafara Williams, was also wounded by police gunfire during the traffic stop late Tuesday night.

Tafara Williams
Tafara Williams (via Facebook)

Stinnette's grandmother, Sherrellis Stinnette, forgave the officer who pulled the trigger – but wants him fired.

"They were human beings. They deserved to live -- 19 years old," Sherrellis Stinnette said. "He left a baby behind; left five sisters and a mother and a father behind."

Police said at 11:55 p.m. Tuesday, an officer was investigating a vehicle with two people inside at Liberty and Oak streets in Waukegan, when its driver drove off.

Moments later, another officer spotted the car a few blocks away near Martin Luther King Jr. and South avenues. While that second officer was out of his vehicle approaching the suspect car, it began to reverse, police said.

The officer fired his semi-automatic pistol and struck both Stinnette, who was the passenger, and Williams, who was driving. Williams survived the shooting, but Stinnette was pronounced dead at Vista Medical Center East.

Back in 2016, CBS affiliate WJAX-TV in Jacksonville spoke to then-14-year-old Stinnette, who at the time was a witness to an unrelated crime.

Stinnette's sister, Zhanellis Banks, reacted to her brother's death in Florida before heading to Illinois.

"I feel speechless. I feel helpless. At this point, I've cried all my tears," Banks said. "We're ready for justice. We're ready for reform. This can't happen to another family."

Many marched asking for the Department of Justice to add an extra set of eyes overseeing the fatal shooting case.

Stinnette and Williams are Black. Police have said the officer who fired the shots is a Hispanic male who has been on the force for five years. He is now on paid administrative leave.

Waukegan police said the officer involved in the shooting was on administrative leave, as Illinois State Police investigate.

Protesters are asking to see the body cam and squad footage. Police said there is no timetable on when that could happen, adding that is all up to Illinois State Police and the Lake County State's Attorney's office.


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