A Chicago police officer who fatally shot a mentally ill teen in December 2015 is suing the teen’s family for $10 million, after he claims he suffered “extreme emotional trauma” from the shooting.
Officer Robert Rialmo filed the lawsuit against the family of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, who was an engineering student at Northern Illinois University, according to Chicago Patch.
Rialmo fired seven shots, striking and killing Quintonio as well as his neighbor, 55-year-old Bettie Jones, on Dec. 26, 2015. The officer claims he shot the teen because Quintonio was approaching him from the doorway of his family’s home with a bat. One bullet hit Jones in the heart.
The families of Quintonio and Jones filed civil lawsuits against the City of Chicago in the beginning of January over the shooting. During a hearing for Quintonio’s wrongful death suit, Rialmo revealed his plans to file a lawsuit against the family, reported ThinkProgress.
The events of the shooting remain unclear, though Quintonio called 911 several times requesting police assistance before being killed by Rialmo. The 911 dispatcher reportedly hung up on him, ignoring his requests for help.
Rialmo has claimed that the shooting caused him emotional distress, as well as physical and emotional trauma, reported Chicago Patch. His lawsuit requests $10 million from the family.
“He tears up every time he talks about what happens,” said Rialmo’s lawyer, Joseph Brodsky, in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, according to Chicago Patch.
Antonio LeGrier, the late teen's father, says his son was emotionally distressed and threatened him with a bat before Antonio called 911. When Rialmo responded to the call, Jones answered the door and Quintonio reportedly emerged from behind her. Rialmo said the teen swung at him with the bat three times.
The LeGrier family’s attorney, Bill Foutris, says that Quintonio holding the bat did not justify Rialmo’s fired shots.
“There was no way he was posing a threat to the officer,” Foutris said, reported Chicago Patch. “He didn’t have a gun. He didn’t have a knife. He certainly didn’t have any kind of weapon that could have presented a threat to an officer who was 20, 30 feet away.”