A police officer who fatally shot a black teenager and accidentally killed a neighbour is now suing the teen’s family after claiming the shooting has left him traumatised.
Quintonio LeGrier, 19, was shot and killed on Boxing Day last year near his home in Chicago.
Police had been called to the building after reports of a disturbance involving Quintonio and his father.
Mother-of-five Bettie Jones, 55, was ‘accidentally struck and tragically killed’ during the shooting in Quintonio’s building, a Chicago Police statement said.
Quintonio’s father, Antonio, filed a wrongful-death suit after his son’s death, claiming Quintonio was not holding a weapon and wasn’t a threat.
An autopsy determined that LeGrier suffered six bullet wounds.
But in a surprising twist, police officer Robert Rialmo, who shot LeGrier, filed a counterclaim on Friday stating physical and emotional trauma. He is seeking £34,475 for trauma and £6.8 million in punitive damages.
The counterclaim provides Rialmo’s version of the shooting which contradicts the LeGrier family’s version.
Rialmo claims he was responding to a disturbance call and opened fire after LeGrier swung a bat at the officer’s head at close range.
Bettie Jones was standing nearby, despite not being involved in the domestic dispute, and was shot and killed by accident.
Yet Antonio LeGrier’s lawyer said he was shocked at the officer’s ‘temerity’ in suing the family of the person he shot.
He said: ‘That’s a new low even for the Chicago Police Department. First you shoot them, then you sue them.’
Rialmo’s lawyer Joel Brodsky said it was important to show police were ‘not targets for assaults’ and ‘suffer damage like anybody else.’
The US Justice Department is conducting a civil rights investigation.