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Dozens protest prosecutor’s police shooting decision in Waukegan

Dozens of protesters marched Friday at the Lake County courthouse in Waukegan to protest the decision by the county’s top prosecutor that the police shooting of a 17-year-old boy was justified.

Among those protesting were members of the family of the teen, Justus Howell. They condemned the decision by Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim not to charge Zion Police officer Eric Hill who shot Howell twice in the back.

Members of the family of Justus Howell embrace at a protest Friday over the decision not to charge the cop who fatally shot him. | Ruth Fuller/For Sun-Times Media

Members of the family of Justus Howell embrace at a protest Friday over the decision not to charge the cop who fatally shot him. | Ruth Fuller/For Sun-Times Media

Officials apparently expected a much larger crowd since they shut down the courthouse Friday, and law enforcement officers could be seen on the roof of the building as protesters gathered for the 3 p.m. event.

Waukegan Mayor Wayne Motley spoke to the protesters outside as they confronted him over the decision.

“It was a thorough investigation,” Motley said to the outraged crowd. Motley said he respected and agreed with Nerheim’s decision.

Waukegan police were shutting down nearby roads as protesters marched in the street.

A protester briefly blocks a bus in Waukegan Friday. | Ruth Fuller/For Sun-Times Media

A protester briefly blocks a bus in Waukegan Friday. | Ruth Fuller/For Sun-Times Media