The woman injured in a police shooting in suburban Chicago last week that killed her boyfriend suggested that cops left him to die even though he was still alive, sharply contradicting a narrative provided by the Waukegan Police Department.
Tafara Williams, recovering from “substantial” injuries she sustained in the shooting, spoke Tuesday for the first time since Marcellis Stinnette was killed Oct. 20. She described in an emotional video the series of events that led to the fateful encounter in Waukegan. The video was posted to social media just a few hours after lawyers held a press conference to allow the families of Wiliams and Stinnette an opportunity to address the public.
Williams, who is 20 and also shared a young child with Stinnette, recounted the harrowing night that included a police officer pulling up in a squad car behind them while they were legally parked in her vehicle on the side of a street. She said the police car didn’t have its lights or sirens on when it pulled up. She also said she turned on all of her car’s interior lights so the officer would see that she and Stinnette, 19, were unarmed and not a threat.
“I wasn’t doing anything illegal,” Williams said in the video.
But then she went on to describe a troubling scenario in which the officer knowingly referred to both of them by their first names and called her “Marcellis baby mother,” claims that reinforce the lingering and still-unanswered question of why the officer really approached them in the first place. It was unclear whether the officer asked them to show their IDs.
Williams said the cop “started harassing Marcellis” while keeping “his left hand on his gun.” She said the cop claimed he knew Stinnette “from jail.”
Williams said when she asked if she and Stinnette were under arrest, the officer “got on his cellphone.” She said she drove away slowly only to encounter “another officer there waiting for us” when she turned the corner onto a different street. That prompted her to lose control of the car, she said.
“The officer was shooting at us,” she said.
She said her car crashed into a building and the officer “kept shooting.”
She said she was bleeding profusely and confirmed Stinnette was still alive.
“Please don’t shoot. I have a baby,” she said she told the officers. “We have a baby. We don’t want to die.”
She said an officer dragged her away as she begged them to take Stinnette first because he had recently undergone surgery.
“They ignored me,” she said.
Then Williams said police treated Stinnette as if he was dead.
“They laid Marcellis on the ground and covered him up with a blanket while he was still breathing,” she said through tears. “I know he was still alive and they took that away from me.”
She said the officer who shot them “allowed him to die. He wanted us to bleed out on the ground.”
Watch the full video below.
Williams’ account differs sharply from the Waukegan Police Department, which issued a press release claiming her car “fled” once an officer approached it. The press release never said why the officer approached the car. The press release added that a different police officer saw the car “moments later” and when he walked toward the car, “it began to reverse.”
That’s when the cop “fired his semi-automatic pistol, in fear for his safety,” the press release said.
The fact that Williams survived the shooting is on-brand for the young woman, her mother said during a press conference held in front of the Daniel T. Drew Municipal Complex in Waukegan on Tuesday.
“Tafara is the strongest person I ever met,” Tina Johnson said while demanding justice and for the police to be held “accountable for what they did to Marcellis and Tafara.” She offered an emotional appeal for America to “stop this disease of violence.”
Williams’ father demanded the federal government to get involved in the case and said the shooting has left him unable to sleep at night.
“I’m getting very angry and I can’t hold my anger much longer,” Trevor Williams said.
Ben Crump, a civil rights lawyer representing Williams, said that he and the families involved expected to “soon” see the bodycam and dashcam videos from last week’s shooting and said local officials were working to be transparent.
Crump compared the Waukegan shooting to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August.
“It seems to not be de-escalation when you’re dealing with African Americans,” Crump accurately pointed out. “It’s almost as if you shoot first and ask questions later. And that seems to be the connection.”
Crump described Williams’ injuries as “substantial” but declined to offer any “vivid details.” However, he did say Williams would have “permanent scars and disfigurement.” He added: “She will never be the same.”
The officer who shot at Williams and Stinnette was only identified as being Hispanic after it was reported he was fired Saturday.
101 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Patrick Warren Sr.Source:Patrick Warren Jr. 1 of 101
2. Carl Dorsey III, 39
2 of 101
Man shot to death in Police involved shooting in Newark is identified as 39 year old Carl Dorsey III. https://t.co/hdtmb6w0Il— The Tornado News (@TheTornadoNews) January 6, 2021
3. Dolal Idd, 23Source:GoFundMe 3 of 101
4. Andre' Hill, 47
4 of 101
An attorney who has represented the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor says he is now working for the family of Andre' Hill, the man killed by a Columbus police officer early Tuesday.https://t.co/9yXaqYKHfu— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) December 24, 2020
5. Joshua Feast
5 of 101
Joshua Feast was fatally shot in the BACK by La Marque PD officer Jose Santos as he was running away, posing no threat. Witnesses report Santos refused to render aid to Joshua after shooting him AND then kicked his body, already debilitated by the bullet. #JusticeForJoshuaFeast pic.twitter.com/zO46PCsGzO— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 12, 2020
6. Maurice GordonSource:Mercury LLC 6 of 101
7. Casey Goodson Jr.Source:Walton + Brown, LLP 7 of 101
8. Rodney ApplewhiteSource:Ben Crump 8 of 101
9. A.J. Crooms
9 of 101
A Florida sheriff's officer shot and killed two Black teens, A.J. Crooms and Sincere Pierce.— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 19, 2020
Here's what we know so far: pic.twitter.com/A8FRNS93L6
10. Sincere Pierce
10 of 101
MOTHER SPEAKS: Cynthia Green of #Cocoa speaks out about her son 18 yr old Sincere Pierce, shot and killed in deputy involved double shooting last Friday. Says she isn’t getting answers and still hasn’t seen her son’s body. @MyNews13 #News13Brevard pic.twitter.com/hYFxZEOqz6— Greg Pallone (@gpallone13) November 17, 2020
11. Walter Wallace Jr.11 of 101
12. Marcellis Stinnette, teen killed by police in Waukegan, IllinoisSource:Twitter 12 of 101
13. Jonathan Price
13 of 101
The Texas police officer who fatally shot Jonathan Price has been arrested and charged with murder. His bail has been set at 1 million dollars. I'm glad. RIP Jonathan, rest in power. pic.twitter.com/Mw5GMQX0Eb— ~𝓣𝓮𝓷𝓪𝓬𝓲𝓸𝓾𝓼 𝓣𝓮𝓪𝓱~ (@TeahCartel) October 6, 2020
14. Deon Kay14 of 101
15. Daniel Prude
15 of 101
The killing of Daniel Prude by Rochester police officers is unacceptable, and we need real answers for why this happened and why it took so long to come out.— Jeremy Cooney (@JeremyCooneyROC) September 2, 2020
Trained medical professionals should respond to mental health crises, not armed officers. pic.twitter.com/EPhH9inn1x
16. Damian Daniels
16 of 101
Yesterday in SA cops killed Sergeant Damian Lamar Daniels in front of his home. His family asked the Red Cross to get him to the VA.— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) August 27, 2020
He had a legal gun on his hip that he never removed. He didn’t want to go and he struggled when they tried to force him.
So they killed him. pic.twitter.com/q6U7OSXb6D
17. Dijon Kizzee
17 of 101
This is #DijonKizzee, 29 yrs old and shot and killed by LA Sheriffs after being stopped for a bike violation. Cops handcuffed his lifeless body. While police investigations can drag on for months/years, cops have already claimed he ran away, and dropped clothes and a gun. #BLM pic.twitter.com/pM6mQfWLeQ— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) September 1, 2020
18. Trayford PellerinSource:GoFundMe 18 of 101
19. David McAtee
19 of 101
in an attempt to disperse crowds, #DavidMcAtee, a louisville bbq chef known for serving cops free meals, was shot and killed by the police last night. he was unarmed. not only were the officers’ bodycams off, but they also left his body on the street for 12 hours.— adaliah 🇹🇬 (@adxlls) June 2, 2020
say his name. pic.twitter.com/kqOPku8iuQ
20. Natosha “Tony” McDade20 of 101
21. George Floyd21 of 101
22. Yassin Mohamed22 of 101
23. Finan H. Berhe
23 of 101
Montgomery County Police Tweet Video Of Cop Shooting Finan H. Berhe In Maryland https://t.co/HzNV24ZpZB— JMcCorrySpeaks (@JMcCorrySpeaks) May 9, 2020
24. Sean ReedSource:Twitter 24 of 101
25. Steven Demarco TaylorSource:S. Lee Merritt 25 of 101
26. Ariane McCreeSource:The Herald/YouTube 26 of 101
27. Terrance Franklin27 of 101
28. Miles HallSource:KRON4 28 of 101
29. Darius TarverSource:S. Lee Merritt 29 of 101
30. William Green
30 of 101
They murdered my cousin. How do you have someone in handcuffs and in a seat belt and shoot them multilpe times.All cops aren't bad but those were. I will fight with the last breath in me for justice. William Green was a family man, a working man. Funny. Loving. Love and miss you. pic.twitter.com/PhM3a6C7uj— Liv 👸🏾 (@liv__03) January 28, 2020
31. Samuel David Mallard, 19
31 of 101
This is a 2019 mugshot of the murder suspect Cobb police shot & killed today. Samuel Mallard, 19, was previously arrested for impersonating officers a half dozen times. In the 2020 case, the GBI says he’s involved in a murder/robbery. CCPD says there are other suspects. @wsbtv https://t.co/7EfuVQLmNB pic.twitter.com/ttWg5HjFkj— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) January 17, 2020
32. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 32 of 101
33. De’von Bailey, 19
33 of 101
Grand jury rules fatal officers' shooting of Devon Bailey was justified. https://t.co/MHXYQn87aH— Scott Kilbury (@SKilburyFOX21) November 14, 2019
34. Christopher Whitfield, 3134 of 101
35. Anthony Hill, 2635 of 101
36. De'Von Bailey, 1936 of 101
37. Eric Logan, 54
37 of 101
BREAKING NEWS OUT OF SOUTH BEND:— Joshua Short (@JoshuaShortWNDU) June 27, 2019
Two lawyers representing the estate of 54-year-old Eric Logan, who was shot and killed by a South Bend police officer, have sued that officer, Sgt. Ryan O'Neill and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
The suit was filed in federal court today.
(READ THREAD) pic.twitter.com/frOpKFQIAV
38. Jamarion Robinson, 2638 of 101
39. Gregory Hill Jr., 30
39 of 101
Gregory Hill, Jr. - the family of Greg Hill grants permission to use these photos to honor Greg or tell his story. pic.twitter.com/uhn1RbEQBv— John M. Phillips (@JohnPhillips) June 1, 2018
40. JaQuavion Slaton, 20
40 of 101
This is Jaquavion Slaton, the 20-year-old who was was shot & killed by Fort Worth Police on Sunday. Community demanding release of body camera video, but FWPD hasn’t said when/if that will happen. #WFAA pic.twitter.com/iakQyWrRCl— Teresa Woodard (@twoodard8) June 10, 2019
41. Ryan Twyman, 24
41 of 101
42. Brandon Webber, 20
42 of 101
When they see us, they kill us...— Jeneisha C. Harris (@JeneishaCHarris) June 13, 2019
Brandon Webber, father of 3, shot by U. S. Marshalls 16-20 times in Memphis.
No one deserves to be shot and killed like this.
I could say so much but I’m really at a loss for words. pic.twitter.com/9EFhUplHDw
43. Jimmy Atchison, 21
43 of 101
44. Willie McCoy, 20
44 of 101
One of six officers who fired at Willie McCoy had killed unarmed man in 2018 || Via: Guardian https://t.co/CjrSIa8r1Z— SafetyPin-Daily (@SafetyPinDaily) February 23, 2019
45. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2145 of 101
46. D’ettrick Griffin, 1846 of 101
47. Jemel Roberson, 26
Source:false 47 of 101
Security guard Jemel Roberson was holding down a shooting suspect when police burst in and shot Roberson instead. pic.twitter.com/zNsYvQMRg8— HuffPost (@HuffPost) November 14, 2018
48. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 48 of 101
49. Botham Shem Jean, 26
Source:false 49 of 101
The young man who was killed by a Dallas police officer in his own apartment this morning has been identified as 26-year-old Botham Jean. He worked at the PwC firm in Downtown Dallas. https://t.co/oyjHMdMXVv pic.twitter.com/uSvJWJ062e— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) September 7, 2018
50. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 50 of 101
51. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 51 of 101
52. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 52 of 101
53. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 53 of 101
54. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 54 of 101
55. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 55 of 101
56. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 56 of 101
57. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 57 of 101
58. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 58 of 101
59. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 59 of 101
60. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 60 of 101
61. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 61 of 101
62. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 62 of 101
63. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 63 of 101
64. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 64 of 101
65. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 65 of 101
66. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 66 of 101
67. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 67 of 101
68. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 68 of 101
69. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 69 of 101
70. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 70 of 101
71. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 71 of 101
72. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 72 of 101
73. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 73 of 101
74. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 74 of 101
75. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 75 of 101
76. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 76 of 101
77. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 77 of 101
78. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 78 of 101
79. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 79 of 101
80. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 80 of 101
81. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 81 of 101
82. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 82 of 101
83. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 83 of 101
84. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 84 of 101
85. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 85 of 101
86. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 86 of 101
87. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 87 of 101
88. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 88 of 101
89. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 89 of 101
90. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 90 of 101
91. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 91 of 101
92. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 92 of 101
93. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 93 of 101
94. Danny Ray Thomas, 34
Source:false 94 of 101
95. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 95 of 101
96. Patrick Harmon, 50
96 of 101
Patrick Harmon was shot and killed by police in Salt Lake City, Utah. The district attorney says the shooting was "legally justified." pic.twitter.com/zYBOwlTzRb— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 7, 2017
97. Jonathan Hart, 21
97 of 101
Friends and family of Jonathan Heart aka Sky Young, a young #homeless man killed last Sunday at a Walgreens in #Hollywood for allegedly shoplifting, gather tonight to remember the 20-year-old. pic.twitter.com/uiMRiFnutq— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) December 9, 2018
98. Maurice Granton, 24
98 of 101
Dash cam footage of police killing Maurice Granton Jr. has been released. His family says it proves that he was unarmed pic.twitter.com/YLAM7my1ny— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 26, 2018
99. Julius Johnson, 23
99 of 101
100. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 100 of 101
101. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 101 of 101
‘He Was Still Breathing’: Tafara Williams Suggests Waukegan Cops Could Have Saved Marcellis Stinnette was originally published on newsone.com