Quintonio LeGrier's mother testifies at wrongful death trial

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The mother of Quintonio LeGrier took the witness stand Monday at the trial over the controversial police shooting of the west side teenager.

Janet Cooksey is suing the city of Chicago and police officer Robert Rialmo for wrongful death, claiming that Rialmo shot her 19-year-old son Quintonio LeGrier without justification on the day after Christmas in 2015. Rialmo testified last week that Quintonio was coming at him, swinging a baseball bat, after his father had called 911 at four in the morning about his son being on a rampage.

LeGrier's family claims the officer could have backed off, and not opened fire.

Cooksey broke down sobbing and had to leave the courtroom on the day the trial opened, but today she kept her composure on the witness stand. She testified that on the Christmas morning before Quintonio was shot, he had broken one of her house rules, so she drove him to his father's house at 7.a.m.

"He didn't seem to be in a bad mood," she said. But he did tell her, "Remember this day."

She also talked about her hopes that Quintonio would turn out better than herself, and one day have his own children. On cross examination, city attorneys tried to distance her from her son, asking whether she had once described herself as a monster. Her answer, "I was very strict with him." They also reminded the jury that from age five through eighteen, Quintonio had lived with foster parents, not with his mother or father.

Lawyers for the city opened their case defending officer Rialmo with testimony from Rialmo's partner on the night of the shooting. They could finish within a day or so, so closing arguments could be underway by mid-week.