The police blotter . . .
In an unusual legal move, Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo, 27, who shot and killed 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier after accidentally killing one of LeGrier’s neighbors, Bettie Jones, 55, filed a lawsuit late Friday suing Quintonio LeGrier’s estate.
Officer Rialmo, a former U.S. Marine who had only been in uniform for the past three years, is citing emotional distress; seeking in excess of $50,000 for physical and emotional trauma; and $10 million in punitive damages, according to his attorney Joel Brodsky.
“Lately it seems people have had a tendency to treat confrontations with police officers like a lottery ticket they can cash in,” Brodsky tells Sneed. “In this case, a lawsuit against my client was filed before a funeral was held.”
Two wrongful-death lawsuits have already been filed against the city by the LeGrier and Jones families.
“Quintonio LeGrier should be held accountable for his actions,” Brodsky said. “He assaulted my client before a shot was fired, which caused the death of an innocent mother of five children,” Brodsky said. “My client feels horrible Bettie Jones is dead because of the actions he was forced to take.”
• Backshot: At approximately 4:30 a.m., Dec. 26, Officer Rialmo shot and killed the bat-wielding teen outside LeGrier’s father’s apartment at 4710 West Erie Street. Jones was at the front door of the building when she was killed, according to police reports. LeGrier, a former engineering student who was struggling with mental health problems, called 911 three times, asking police to come to his father’s home, according to emergency calls released last week. The dispatcher did not send an officer to the house until his father called.
• End shot: “He [Rialmo] tears up every time he talks about what happened,” Brodsky tells Sneed. “Believe me, it’s had a great impact on him; he’ll carry this nightmare the rest of his life. He was not given advance warning he was dealing with a mentally ill person, and that might have changed the way he handled it.”
No worries, Wookiee?
Is the force faltering?
Is a lawsuit fighting the lakefront location of movie genius George Lucas’ planned $400 million lakefront museum, which was kept alive by a federal judge’s ruling last week, causing a rethink blink?
Is the Lucas group growing frustrated with foot faults and delay?
“We want it to happen,” a source close to the Lucas project said. “That’s the bottom line. A lot of time and energy have been invested in it. But what’s happening now is a head scratcher!”
“This project will bring so much to Chicago: jobs, construction work, permanent jobs after the project is completed; visitors from all over the world; a permanent structure which will be a delight and amazement for children of all ages for years . . . and it’s being threatened due to protection of a parking lot!!!,” the source added.
The museum site selection is now an empty surface parking lot just south of Soldier Field that is a favorite of tailgaters during the football season.
“It’s all about protecting a piece of concrete?” the source said. “Not one tree is being torn down! A parking lot doesn’t serve the citizens of Chicago with the exception of events at Soldier Field and McCormick Place. There are no people riding, biking or picnicking on that parking lot. Families are not going to visit a parking lot.
“It’s a head scratcher because the Friends of the Park [who are fighting construction of the Lucas Museum location] are actually Friends of the Parking Lot.”
The old pile . . .
Bricks & money: Sneed hears rumbles Gov. Bruce Rauner may have a hush hush reason restoration of the decrepit governor’s mansion has crawled to a standstill.
• To wit: Word filtering through upper echelon GOP sources in Springfield suggest Rauner, who has been waging war with labor unions, doesn’t want to use union labor retooling the Springfield mansion.
The Pfleger file . . .
Peace priest Michael Pfleger is keeping his pews filled.
• To wit: Archbishop Blase Cupich, who has praised the work of the activist priest, will hit St. Sabina Catholic Church, where the Rev. Pfleger resides over the South Side’s largest Catholic flock — and legendary football star/social activist Jim Brown will be interviewed by film director Spike “Chiraq” Lee at St. Sabina on March 11. Wow!
Sneedlings . . .
Saturday’s birthdays: Kathy Najimy, 59; Michael Tucker, 71, and Allison Holker, 28. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Chris Rock, 51; Ashton Kutcher, 38, and Garth Brooks, 54.