New details are emerging surrounding 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier of Chicago, who was fatally shot by the police in the day after Christmas in 2015.
LeGrier was shot after police arrived at the scene of his father’s home. The college student was said to have emotional problems by those who knew him well. On the day of his death, he emerged from his home with a baseball bat.
New audio from the 911 dispatch center shows LeGrier reached out to the emergency service more than once to have them come to diffuse the domestic situation happening in his home. Having called 911 just minutes before police arrived, the audio derived from that call shows that LeGrier was hung up on by the dispatcher because he didn’t provide his last name, nor could he elaborate on why he needed help.
“I just need an officer over here, ok?” LeGrier said on the call.
“No,” the dispatcher retorted, “it don’t work like that. What’s your emergency?”
After a few attempts at clarification, LeGrier was finally able to mention the cause for his call, “Someone is threatening my life.” Nonetheless, the information wasn’t enough for the dispatcher, who still asked for LeGrier’s last name.
“There’s an emergency!” LeGrier pleaded.
The dispatcher answered: “O.K., if you can’t answer the questions I’m going to hang up.”
“I need the police!” Mr. LeGrier cried.
“Terminating the call,” the dispatcher responded.
LeGrier then call 911 twice again requesting help, and each time he was questioned about his name.
911 also received a telephone call from Quintonio’s father, who said his son was being erratic and beating down his door with a baseball bat.
Officers finally were dispatched to the scene where they fatally shot Quintonio’s upon him emerging from the home, in addition to shooting and killing Bettie Jones, the neighbor who had answered the shared front door of the home a shared front door of the home, was also shot and killed.
While the events of that day are still playing out- why exactly Quintonio called and what altercation was taking place between him and his father- the killings of him and Bettie Jones add to the mounting frustrations of police brutality and recklessness in Chicago, which is a microcosm of the abuse going on around the nation.