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Mother files suit against police after fatal April 2015 shooting

Sun-Times file photo

The mother of an 18-year-old man who was fatally shot by a Chicago Police officer in April in the South Shore neighborhood filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and two police officers Friday.

Lelar Robinson, the mother of Jeffery Kemp Jr., filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court claiming that two officers chased her son and later one of them shot him in the back without justification on April 17, 2015.

About 10:10 p.m., Grand Crossing District officers on patrol near 71st Street and Paxton Avenue heard shots fired and saw a van speeding away from the area, according to a statement from Chicago Police at the time of the shooting.

A pursuit ensued, and the officers watched Kemp jump out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand. The officers chased him to 74th Street and Merrill Avenue and ordered him to drop the weapon, but Kemp turned around and pointed it at the officers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported at the time. An officer then fired two shots, striking him.

Kemp, who lived in the 7400 block of South Jeffery, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Police said a gun was recovered at the scene. No officers were injured.

The lawsuit states that the two officers disregarded Kemp’s safety when one of them fired a weapon at him while he was running away with his back turned to the officers. It also states that there was no “legal justification” for a gun to be fired and that the investigation process was conducted “in an improper fashion.”

The three-count lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department, said the city had not yet reviewed the lawsuit and declined to comment.