clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

On witness stand, Quintonio LeGrier’s father contradicts Rialmo’s testimony

The doorway where a Chicago Police officer shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier. | Legal exhibit

Antonio LeGrier, father of Quintonio LeGrier, testified Thursday that he never told officer Robert Rialmo, “You did what you needed to do,” after the officer fatally shot his son — contradicting what Rialmo had testified a day earlier.

Rialmo had testified Wednesday that, after shooting Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones, he said to Antonio LeGrier, “Dad, what the f—?”

On Thursday, Antonio LeGrier testified he never heard anyone say that after the December 2015 shooting — and, he said, he never told Rialmo that the officer had done “what you needed to do.”

Instead, the elder LeGrier testified, he heard Rialmo — who he said was standing near the sidewalk — yell to him, “Hey, you see that? I thought he was going to lunge at me with that bat.”

Antonio LeGrier said that early on Dec. 26, 2015, he was asleep in his bedroom on the second floor of 4710 W. Erie St. He had used a 2 x 4 board to barricade his door shut because “I didn’t want no one coming in the door when I was sleeping.”

Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier. | Provided photos
Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGrier. | Provided photos

Andrew Hale, an attorney representing the city, asked him how often he barricaded the door, and Antonio LeGrier said he’d never done it before that night.

At several points during his morning testimony, Antonio LeGrier’s voice cracked and he began to cry. One of his attorneys, Basileios “Bill” Foutris, brought him a box of tissues and advised him to “take a deep breath” before continuing.

The elder LeGrier said he was awakened by his son pounding on the bedroom door, so he was scared and called the police. He then called Bettie Jones and asked her to open the door for the officers when they arrived.

Shortly thereafter, Antonio LeGrier heard his son run down the stairs toward the front door of the two-flat. The elder LeGrier exited his bedroom and was halfway down the stairs when he heard Rialmo’s gunshots.

From his perch on the stairs, Antonio LeGrier said he could see onto the porch and walkway and neither his son nor Rialmo were there. In cross-examination, though, Antonio LeGrier conceded that there were portions of the front porch that he could not see from the stairs.

Quintonio LeGrier’s body was found halfway between the building’s vestibule and Bettie Jones’ first-floor apartment. He never saw anyone fire any shots, and he didn’t see what his son was doing before he was shot.

Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo, the officer who shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in December 2015, is shown leaving court at the Daley Center earlier this week. LeGrier’s father testified Thursday, and his testimony contradicted so
Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo, the officer who shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in December 2015, is shown leaving court at the Daley Center earlier this week. LeGrier’s father testified Thursday, and his testimony contradicted some important parts of what Rialmo had said on the witness stand. | Max Herman/For the Sun-Times
Max Herman/For the Sun-Times

Rialmo testified Wednesday that Quintonio LeGrier was on the front porch of the building when he was shot and that Rialmo himself was just a few feet away from him on the walkway. The officer testified that the younger LeGrier had swung the bat at him, missed, and cocked back to swing again when Rialmo opened fire.

After the shooting, Antonio LeGrier said, he was not allowed to be with his son at Stroger Hospital. Instead, he went to a police station and held there for seven hours to be questioned about the shooting. He was not arrested or placed in handcuffs.

While at the police station, Antonio LeGrier said, he repeatedly asked for an attorney, but was never given one. That led him to record some of his conversations with investigators on his phone.

Two scratchy recordings were played for the jury, and Antonio LeGrier could be heard telling police that Rialmo said, “Oh f—, oh f—, oh f—” after the shooting.

On Thursday, Hale pressed the elder LeGrier about what he did after he left the police station.

“You voluntarily chose to seek legal counsel as opposed to going to the hospital to see your son?” Hale asked.

“At that time, yes, sir,” Antonio LeGrier replied.

He never went to see the 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier in the hospital because, Antonio LeGrier said, he “couldn’t function to see my son in the state that was described to me.”

Under questioning from Hale, Antonio LeGrier said that, between the ages of 5 and 18, Quintonio LeGrier did not live with him or his mother, Janet Cooksey, who’s also been in court. During those years, Antonio LeGrier said, his son lived with another legal guardian.

From his birth to age 4, Antonio LeGrier said, Quintonio LeGrier lived with Cooksey.

Jamar Mattox witnessed the shooting and previously testified in a deposition about what he saw. Mattox was not in court today, but his answers were read aloud by a stand-in as Foutris delivered the already-asked questions.

Mattox previously testified that Rialmo was standing still on the sidewalk when he shot at LeGrier and no one was within 20 feet when he opened fire.