Protesters Want Reinvestigation Into Cop's Use Of Deadly Force In Zion

Nancy Harty
June 26, 2020 - 7:26 am
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Supporters of a teen who was killed by a Zion police officer five years ago are demanding the Lake County State’s Attorney reopen the case.  

"Say his name!"

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Many wore t-shirts with Justus Howell’s face on them, calling for another look at the evidence in the fatal police shooting of the 17-year old.  

Former Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd accused Officer Eric Hill of misstating what happened that day in April 2015 and said other officers jeopardize the scene by taking Howell to the hospital instead of leaving his body there for Rudd to investigate.

"Because I can only go where the deceased is and that was at the hospital. What's his death? That deceived me. The body is mine," he said.

Related: 'We Hear You': Lightfoot, CPD Announce Use Of Force Community Working Group

Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim calls Justus’ death a tragedy, but said an independent investigation found Hill was justified in his use of deadly force and a jury in a civil trial affirmed that in 2018.

Howell’s mother and an attorney representing her family dispute the police version of events that led to Hill shooting the teen twice in the back.  

In a statement Nerheim said an investigation by the Lake County Major Crime Task Force found Hill thought Howell had a gun that he had attempted to buy earlier.