CHICAGO -- The mother of a teenager killed by a Chicago police officer is speaking out for the first time since learning that CPD superintendent will not fire the officer responsible.
The controversial case claimed two lives; Quintonio Legrier and his neighbor Bettie Jones, a grandmother who opened her door to police.
It was the day after Christmas 2015. LeGrier was an NIU engineering student staying at his dad’s West Side home during winter break. He called 911 three times because he was having a mental health crisis.
When Officer Rialmo arrived, he shot LeGreir because the 19-year-old student was wielding a baseball bat.
Legrier’s mother Janet Cooksey is furious that Superintendent Eddie Johnson is backing Robert Rialmo, the officer who shot and killed her son.
“Johnson said he wants to regain the public trust. He hasn’t done anything to support those words. Not one thing,” Cooksey said. “No one was hurt until the officer came on the scene – no one was hurt.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, known as COPA, reviewed the case and said the shooting was unjustified. But Superintendent Johnson rejected the findings, saying Rialmo reacted to a threat within department policy.
“I don’t have the luxury of basing my decisions on public pressure, political pressure,” Johnson said. “I have to simply go by the law, department policy and general orders that were in place back then in 2015.”
Cooksey says she wants Rialmo fired and says she’ll keep pressing her case to the police board, which has the ultimate authority to make the decision.
“I’m going to find more evidence and I’m going to bring it forth and you’re not going to make me be quiet,” she said.
Johnson says everyone involved in the case deserves to let the full process play out.