WAUKEGAN, Ill. – In Waukegan Thursday, Black Lives Matter activists held a march and rally demanding justice as officials investigate the killing of a Black man by police.
Rev. Jesse Jackson is demanding that the case be turned over to a special prosecutor, joining many in the community who say they have no confidence in local authorities to find the truth.
Nearly 100 protesters marched through Waukegan Thursday demanding justice after a Waukegan police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette during a traffic stop.
“What do we want? Justice!,” protesters chanted. “What is his name? Marcellis Stinnette.”
Stinnette was sitting in a car with his 20-year-old girlfriend Tafarra Williams, who was driving, on Tuesday night.
Police said it was a suspicious vehicle and they stopped the car near Liberty and Oak Street. Police said Williams and Stinnette drove away and another officer found them nearby at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and South avenues.
Police said when an officer approached them, Williams reversed the car toward the officer and then the officer opened fire.
Stinnette was shot and killed and Williams survived.
From her hospital bed, Williams told her mother what happened.
“My foot got heavy and I reversed it,” Williams said. “The whole squad pulled up together, but only one start shooting at me because they blazed my car up.”
Williams’ mother spoke at a rally outside the Waukegan Police Department saying her daughter was shot in the stomach.
“Justice will be served because they left you to speak for the ones that can speak,” Clifftina Johnson said. “Black lives do matter.”
No weapon was found in the car. The officer who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave.
Illinois State Police are now investigating, but Black Lives Matter activists said that’s not acceptable.
“We don’t trust the Illinois State Police to investigate the case,” said activist Zakee Darr. “We prefer to have the DOJ, process, we’ve seen how this process works we seen how the process plays all across the country.”
In the meantime, the grieving grandmother of Marcellis Stinnette said this a time for justice and mercy.
“My grandson died with a smile on his face, and the police officer, he’s forgiven. That’s what God would want me to do,” said Sherrellis Sheria Stinnette. “He’s forgiven.”
State police investigators are reviewing body camera and dashboard camera video.
The investigation will likely take several weeks. When it’s finishing, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office will determine if the office who fired the shots will face any charges.