Report: Cops moved slowly due to fear dying man may be armed

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Suburban Chicago police did not immediately provide medical aid to a mortally wounded man an officer had just shot because they feared that he or his girlfriend could have a gun, according to police reports released this week.

The police reports of the Oct. 20 shooting were released to the Lake County News-Sun in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Last week, the mother of Marcellis Stinnette filed a lawsuit accusing Waukegan Police officers of letting her son bleed to death in the eight minutes it took for an ambulance to arrive.

In that federal suit, and in another filed by the woman who was seriously injured, Tafara Williams, attorneys said the couple posed no threat to the officers when they were shot and that neither was armed.

The attorneys have also disputed Officer Dante Salinas’ claim heard on his body camera video that he opened fire after Williams tried to run him over with her car.

But while the police department reports acknowledge no weapon was found in the vehicle, they also detail officers’ claims that they were worried the couple might be armed and were unable to determine immediately whether or not that was true.

The reports say the officers eventually pulled Williams from the vehicle and placed him on the street. He had been shot in the abdomen.

According to the reports, Salinas was “visibly shaken” following the shooting. He was fired soon after, in large part because he failed to activate his body camera until after the shooting, which was a violation of department policy.

Moments before the shooting, James Keating, a white officer, approached the couple as they sat in a car in front of Williams’ home. As the officer attempted to arrest Stinnette on an alleged warrant, Williams, who was in the driver’s seat, sped off.

On video released by the city, Keating can be heard claiming on his radio, “Hey, they just ran me over.” Attorneys for Williams have said that she never tried to run Keating over.

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