No charges against Zion police in fatal shooting of teen Justus Howell

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ZION, Ill. — Prosecutors will not charge the Zion police officer who fatally shot a 17-year-old in the back last month, Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim announced Thursday.

Nerheim concluded that the officer committed no crime in shooting Justus Howell twice in the back April 4 and that the shooting was justified.

Activists had accused Lake County authorities of bias and called for murder charges against the officer. Authorities, meanwhile, have asked for patience and promised a thorough investigation.

Howell’s mother expressed anger to reporters outside the courthouse after the news conference.  “There is nothing to suggest they (police) should execute my son,” LaToya Howell said.   “He was running.  If his back was turned, how could you be a threat?”


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