Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Chicago Killed Innocent Grandma, Daughters Say

CHICAGO (CN) - A hail of bullets took down an unarmed grandmother who opened her door to police officers on the day after Christmas, her family claims in court.

Latarsha and Latisha Jones filed the lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, just over a week after the death of their mother, Bettie Ruth Jones.

The 55-year-old mother of five and grandmother of nine was one of two casualties in the Dec. 26 shooting outside her apartment on West Erie Street in Chicago.

Jones' daughters brought their lawsuit on Jan. 4, exactly one week after the father of the other shooting victim, 19-year-old Quintonio Legrier , filed a similar complaint.

The daughters say Jones received a call from her upstairs neighbor Antonio Legrier on the Saturday morning of the shooting.

Though the new complaint does not delve into these details, Legrier's suit noted that he had called the police because his son Quintonio was yelling and waving a bat.

The emotionally disturbed teen had been home for Christmas, on break from classes at Northern Illinois University, and his father hoped police could help get the student to a hospital.

Legrier informed Jones that he had called the police "and asked that she answer the door," according to the daughters' complaint.

They say when Jones opened the door, she "faced a hail of bullets being fired by an on duty Chicago Police Department officer."

The officer who blasted through the doorway and walls Jones' home had been "standing in the parkway beyond the public sidewalk at the time that he fired his weapon," according to the complaint.

Jones' daughters say he "knew or should have known that one or more innocent persons were inside the property."

Quintonio Legrier was also shot in the spray of bullets and fell on top of Jones, according to the complaint.

Neither the officer who fired nor his partner bothered to check on Jones or Legrier, the daughters say.

Latisha Jones, a 19-year-old twin, says she went outside after hearing the gunfire, where she found her mother "lying on the floor in a pool of blood."

When the teen demanded help for her still-alive mother, an officer said "her mother was dead and she needed to 'get over it,'" the complaint states.

The Chicago Police Department had extended its condolences to Jones' family after the shooting, saying her death had been an accident.

Echoing the elder Legrier's claims that police did not face any threat from the teen, Jones' daughters say the police officer who opened fire did so knowing there were innocent people inside the property.

The police department was never informed that "any ... person at the property ... possessed a firearm," according to the complaint.

As "one of several police-involved shootings to occur in the city of Chicago,"

the Department of Justice launched an investigation in December 2015 of Chicago Police Department practices on the heels of Jones and Legrier's deaths, the complaint states.

Jones' daughters also claim that police investigators took care after the shooting to seize any video recordings of what transpired.

Alleging wrongful death and emotional distress, Jones' daughters are represented by Larry Rogers Jr. of Power Rogers & Smith.

Rogers has not returned a voicemail seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Bill McCaffrey of Chicago's legal department says the city has not yet reviewed the lawsuit, and therefore has no comments on it.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.