Family of teen shot and killed by Chicago police claims shooting unjustified

A mother is suing the Chicago Police Department, claiming that her teenage son was needlessly shot and killed after a traffic stop last winter.

Her lawsuit also claims that officers failed to call for an ambulance during the critical minutes after the boy was shot.

"There was no warning, no halts, no stop, don't run, you know, the officer just fired," said Alice Martin.

Martin is the mother of Michael Elam Jr., who is a 17-year-old who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer in February. Police say he was a passenger in a car on South Keeler when police tried to pull the driver over for a traffic violation. The driver refused and crashed into a fence.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Elam's family says he was running from the accident scene when an officer opened fire.

"He was running away, and the shots to the back and the back of the head confirm that he was running away from the officer at the time he was shot," said plaintiff's attorney Jeffrey Neslund.

Neslund, who also represented the family of Laquan McDonald, also says police waited more than five minutes to call for an ambulance, and the officer who shot Elam violated rules by not activating his bodycam before the incident.

Elam attended West Town Academy, and was supposed to graduate Friday night.

"We're just looking for answers. We want justice for my son who I just feel was wrongfully fatally killed," Martin said.

Police said in February that two guns were recovered at the scene, but attorneys for Elam's family say the teenager was not armed.

"What we know as a matter of fact, of certainty, is that after he was shot, he was searched, he was unarmed," Neslund said.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has not issued its findings on the shooting. A spokesman for the city declined to comment.