Bettie Jones, known in her Chicago neighborhood for her work with anti-violence community groups, was killed by police responding to a domestic disturbance just hours after she hosted family on Christmas Day.
The fatal shooting of Jones, 55, and 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, a college student visiting his father for the holiday, at a West Side home has raised further questions about a police department already under intense scrutiny. Grieving relatives and friends of the two victims gathered Sunday to remember them and criticize city officials who they said had once again failed residents.
The shooting happened early Saturday morning at the small two-story home, where Jones lived in a ground-floor apartment and LeGrier’s father in an upstairs unit. Police, who were responding to a 911 call made by LeGrier’s father after an argument with his son, have released few details beyond a brief statement.
It said that officers “were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon” and added that Jones “was accidentally struck.”
Earlier this year, 17 year old Kendrick Johnson of Georgia was found inside of a rolled up mat at Lowndes High School. Johnson’s body was upside down inside of the mat which had been placed upright behind bleachers. His internal organs were missing and the cavities were filled with newspaper. His death was ruled an accident. 24 year old Ryan Singleton of Atlanta made news just last week. His body was discovered in the desert of Death Valley by joggers. All of his organs were missing. These two stories have led to a conspiracy theory that there is a black market for black organs.
Dick Gregory said in an interview, “The undertaker that dealt with Kendrick Johnson is the same undertaker from Miami that was used to deal with Trayvon Martin. You mean to tell me as close as Atlanta is, you’re going to call a black undertaker way from Florida?”