A Chicago police officer has filed a counterclaim against the family of the teen that he shot and killed late last year, claiming that the deceased caused him “emotional trauma.” The suit is allegedly for $10 million.
The shooting, which occurred back in December, sent an all-too-familiar chill down the spine of Chicago residents. Officer Robert Rialmo shot and killed 19-year-old college student Quintonio LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones after responding to a domestic disturbance call.
What made this case particularly chilling was that LeGrier, who reportedly had recently developed mental health problems, had called 911 three times requesting assistance before an officer finally arrived at the scene. Dispatch hung up on the teen before finally sending a police officer over.
According to ThinkProgress, “In the first call made on December 26, LeGrier asks the dispatcher to send an officer, but doesn’t specify why one is needed. The teenager repeatedly says the word 'emergency,' but the dispatcher says she won’t send an officer until LeGrier says his full name. She hangs up in less than two minutes.”
The family of the deceased and the officer heavily disagree with what exactly happened in those few minutes after Rialmo and his partner arrived at the scene.
Now, Rialmo is suing LeGrier's family in a counterclaim, saying that the deceased caused him “emotional trauma.”
In his counterclaim, Rialmo claims that “he only opened fire after LeGrier followed him out of the house and swung the bat at him several times.”
When asked if Rialmo was trying to make a statement with demanding $10 million in damages, possibly sending a warning to those who wish to file lawsuits against police officers, Joel Brodsky, Rialmo’s attorney, said that simply wasn’t the case.
“Exemplary damages are appropriate because the fact is that LeGrier tried to kill officer Rialmo,” Brodsky told BuzzFeed News. “If he was still alive, he’d be charged with attempted murder of a police officer and the felony murder of the woman who died. So if they are not appropriate now, I don’t know when they would be appropriate.”
Brodsky added that “when you’re talking about emotional trauma, it’s sometimes hard to put a price tag on it,” and had the audacity to claim that the media’s coverage of the counterclaim was “extremely biased.”
“Why do we have the headline ‘Police officer sues college kid he killed last year,’ instead of ‘Police officer sues college dropout who tried to kill him with a baseball bat?” Brodksy said.
BuzzFeed News reached out to the LeGrier family for a comment—no word back as of yet.
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