The statement below can be attributed to Karen Sheley, Police Practices Project Director, ACLU of Illinois:
"The release of the footage surrounding the shooting death of Marcellis Stinette and the wounding of his girlfriend Tafara Williams by Waukegan police underscore the need for a reckoning on policing in Illinois. It is imperative that there be a full, fair and independent investigation of the shooting death of yet another Black man at the hands of police in our state. A 7-month-old child has lost her father and there must be a public explanation of precisely what occurred followed by appropriate consequences.
It is especially troubling that the officer who fired the fatal shot failed to activate the body-worn camera that was provided by the Waukegan police. Five years ago, in the wake of the tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, law enforcement agencies implemented the widespread use of body worn cameras for officers – so that the public would have an independent, neutral recording of police interactions with members of the communities they serve. That purpose and the goal of transparency is undermined when officers fail to follow the rules for the use of cameras.
Sadly, there are no consequences for officers in Illinois who do not follow guidelines for the use of body cameras. That must change. State law should mandate consequences for officers who do not use their cameras in line with the law.
We join all those grieving with Mr. Stinette’s family, and wishing well for Ms. Williams and their child. Their pain has been experienced by too many Black families across our nation in the wake of police violence against Black people. It must end. Black Lives Matter."