The family of 55-year-old Bettie Jones has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago over a shooting that police have described as “accidental.”
The mother of five and grandmother of nine was killed at her home December 26 after police responded to a disturbance call.
In the lawsuit, Jones’ family says the shooting was an “excessive use of force” and “constitutes an unjustifiable homicide.”
They are seeking damages “in an amount well in excess of the minimum jurisdictional amount” of $50,000 each for Jones and her daughter, who was at home at the time of the shooting. The daughter was not physically hurt.
“Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon which fatally wounded two individuals,” Chicago police have said.
“The 55 year old female victim was accidentally struck and tragically killed. The department extends it’s deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends.”
The other person killed has been identified as 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, Jones’ neighbor.
His father said he hoped police would help his son when he called 911. Instead, an officer shot LeGrier dead inside a Chicago apartment building, after Jones reportedly responded to either a knock or ring of the doorbell.
“I never once thought that when he entered that staircase, that his life would be ended by someone who didn’t know what to do,” Antonio LeGrier said, crying as he described his son’s final moments to CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “Now my only son is gone, and I don’t know what to do.”
The shooting is the latest in a string of officer-involved shootings that have left the city on edge and sparked protests nationwide.
In November, prosecutors announced an officer would face a first-degree murder charge in the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Amid growing protests over that case and other officer-involved shootings, the city’s police commissioner resigned.