No charges expected in 2018 shooting of woman by Elgin lieutenant

SHARE No charges expected in 2018 shooting of woman by Elgin lieutenant
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An image taken from an Elgin police body camera of a fatal police-involved shooting March 12, 2018, on Interstate 90. | Elgin police

No criminal charges will be filed in connection with the fatal shooting of a 34-year-old woman by an Elgin police lieutenant last year.

“After a thorough review of the evidence, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office determined the evidence is insufficient to support the filing of criminal charges in” the officer-involved shooting death of DeCynthia Clements that occurred on March 12, 2018, the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement.

The Cook County state’s attorney’s office decided not to pursue charges after reviewing an investigation into the shooting by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force, Elgin Police Chief Ana Lalley said in a statement.

She said the review “found no conduct which would give rise to criminal charges against any of the involved officers.”

Police said at the time of the shooting that an officer first made contact with a “suspicious vehicle” driven by Clements about 12:30 a.m. March 12 on Cedar Avenue in Elgin and the vehicle was spotted again with “obvious damage” on I-90 near Route 25.

After stopping the vehicle, police said they tried to negotiate with Clements, who was armed with a knife, for more than an hour before a fire started inside her vehicle.

She was shot by an Elgin police lieutenant after stepping out of the vehicle holding the knife, police said.

Clements, who lived in Elgin, was taken to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, where she was pronounced dead, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

In the days following the shooting, Elgin police released 30 hours of video from dash and body-worn cameras that captured the shooting.

Following investigators’ decision not to pursue charges, Lalley said the department plans to “conduct an outside independent professional standards investigation” into the shooting and the department’s policies on use of force. The lieutenant who shot Clements will remain on paid administrative leave during the professional standards investigation.

Lalley said the department also plans to make the ISP report about the investigation available online within the next few weeks and host “a series of listening sessions where we encourage open dialogue” with community members. Details about these sessions will be released “in the coming days.”

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