CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - An unusual lawsuit claims a police officer should be compensated for his distress after he shot and killed a West Side teenager.
But the families of Quintonio Legrier and another victim, Bettie Jones, believe the shooting wasn't justified.
“If he's such a delicate flower, he shouldn't be on the police department,” said Legrier’s attorney Basileios Foutris.
The attorney for Quintonio Legrier's family mocked any suggestion that the dead teenager's family owes anything to Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo. The officer shot and killed the 19-year-old engineering student in West Garfield Park six weeks ago after responding to a call that he was acting erratically.
Rialmo claims shooting Legrier was justified, but the accidental shooting of 55-year-old Bettie Jones has caused him great emotional distress.
“His eyes start to water, it's very emotional for him, his voice breaks up,” said the officer’s attorney Joel Brodsky.
“You should be prepared to handle something like this, and if you're not prepared to handle a situation like this, get off the police force,” Foutris responded.
Officer Rialmo, in his counterclaim, is seeking over $10 million in damages. He claims Legrier came barging out of a second floor apartment, swinging a bat and missing Rialmo's head by inches.
Legrier's attorneys claim Legrier was a good distance from Rialmo and posed no immediate threat.
“What you see in the counterclaim is pure fantasy,” Foutris said.
“All the forensics support Officer Rialmo's version of events and all of the forensics suggest their version is the fantasy,” Brosky added.
Bettie Jones had shown up to give police access to the building. Her attorneys say the evidence suggests Quintonio Legrier was inside the building and Rialmo outside when the shooting occurred, so they question Officer Rialmo's version of events.
“This family is very interested in the overall culture that seems to be present with the Chicago Police Department, of shooting first and asking questions later,” said Jones’ family attorney Larry Rogers Jr.
The city council's finance committee Monday briefly considered a motion calling for an expedited settlement of the Bettie Jones shooting, since police admit it was an accident. The motion was referred to a subcommittee for later action.