Readings — From the January 2017 issue

S.O.B. Story

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From a complaint filed in an Illinois circuit court last year by Robert Rialmo, a Chicago police officer, against the family of Quintonio LeGrier, a nineteen-year-old black man who was fatally shot by Rialmo. The lawsuit demands more than $10 million in damages.

On December 26, 2015, at approximately 4:20 a.m., Officer Rialmo received a dispatch call to respond to a domestic disturbance. Officer Rialmo proceeded to Erie Street, approached the two-story building at that location, rang the doorbell, and knocked. Bettie Jones opened the door and stated, “It’s upstairs.” As Officer Rialmo stepped in, Quintonio LeGrier came out of the second-floor apartment holding a baseball bat and took a swing at Officer Rialmo’s head. While backing off, Officer Rialmo shouted for LeGrier to drop the bat. LeGrier advanced, taking a second swing. Officer Rialmo continued to shout for LeGrier to drop the bat. LeGrier advanced across the front porch. Officer Rialmo drew his handgun and fired eight rounds in approximately two and a half seconds. As he began to fire, Officer Rialmo did not see Jones, who was screened from his view by LeGrier. The first round struck LeGrier in his left chest, the second round grazed the left side of LeGrier’s chest, the third round hit LeGrier in the right buttocks, the fourth round hit LeGrier’s left arm in the rear and exited from the front, the fifth round hit LeGrier in the left back, and the sixth round grazed the back of LeGrier’s right shoulder. The two other rounds missed LeGrier. The fourth round passed through LeGrier and struck Jones.

The fact that LeGrier’s actions forced Officer Rialmo to end LeGrier’s life and to take the innocent life of Bettie Jones has caused Officer Rialmo to suffer extreme distress, injuries of a pecuniary nature, pain, and emotional trauma, all of which are permanent.

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