Sneed exclusive: Questions in LeGrier death revolve around bat
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Is the bat where it’s at?
The shooting death of Quintonio LeGrier, 19, who was killed by Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo late last year, seems to be pivoting around an aluminum bat.
Was it used as a weapon or not?
Last Friday, the Sun-Times exclusively reported two separate police interviews with Rialmo suggested two different accounts of a baseball bat-wielding LeGrier.
But, in a never previously disclosed witness statement obtained by Sneed, the bat involved in the LeGrier case seems to take on what appears to be a menacing life of its own before Rialmo arrives on the scene.
The report is based on a police detective interview with LeGrier’s father, Antonio, the day his son was shot on Dec. 26, 2015.
According to the police report, Antonio LeGrier claims his son, Quintonio, who had remained at home while Antonio attended two family parties, did not seem right when he got home and “had a stare to him,” prompting him to barricade himself in his bedroom by propping a board behind his door.
A short time later, the report states his son, Quintonio — who had basically sat around their apartment “ignoring” him for several days after he had picked him up at school — “rammed” into Antonio’s bedroom door three times — and then “knocked on the bedroom door with an aluminum baseball bat.”
During the police interview, Antonio LeGrier described his son “being on a rampage.”
The handwritten police report also quotes Antonio LeGrier as stating: “heard PO [police officer] saying: “I thought he was going to lunge at me.”
“Obviously, the father was so afraid of his son, he had to barricade himself in the bedroom and put up a door board to make sure his son couldn’t get at him with the baseball bat,” said attorney Joel Brodsky, who represents Rialmo in his lawsuit against LeGrier’s estate seeking damages for “extreme emotional trauma.”
“This clearly shows Quintonio LeGrier was using the bat in a more aggressive manner before the shooting occurred,” he said. Ironically, both Quintonio and his father had made 911 police calls requesting help.
Antonio LeGrier subsequently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city alleging his son was inside the home — and the officers outside of it — when an officer fired multiple shots from a distance of 20 to 30 feet away.
LeGrier maintained the officer “messed up,” shooting “blindly, recklessly into the doorway,” and his son’s actions didn’t warrant the firing of a gun.” LeGrier’s neighbor, Bettie Jones, 55, was also shot and killed as an innocent bystander during the LeGrier confrontation.
Brodsky also claims Rialmo just completed all his CPD-mandated requirements to go back on the street and is awaiting assignment back to a patrol.
Bench press . . .
Justice Merrick Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court may be a losing race to nowhere thus far, but fellow alums recall that while he was at Niles West High School, young Garland’s appearance on the TV quiz show “It’s Academic” resulted in winning the prize: a color TV.
• To wit: It was affixed to a wall of the school cafeteria. Even five or six years after he graduated, it was referred to as the “Merrick Garland TV.”
• Backshot: Garlands’s mother, Shirley Garland, was president of the Niles Township High School District during a contentious week-long strike in 1973 that shut Niles North, Niles East and Niles West, affecting about 8,000 students and resulting in protesters demonstrating around Lunt and Kilbourn near the Garland house.
Sneedlings . . .
Today’s birthdays: Elton John, 69; Sarah Jessica Parker, 51, Aretha Franklin, 74, and a belated birthday to Bob Clifford, ageless and priceless.