Following Police Shooting, Clean Up, Questions and Coping in Austin
On Tuesday morning, a crew working out of a white sprinter van with a hazmat warning label cleaned up the apartment where 55-year-old Bettie Jones and 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier were killed by Chicago police over the weekend.
Jones family spokesman Eric Russell said they are called “the aftermath team.”
The crew is charged with removing blood-soaked carpeting, patching bullet holes and painting over blood spatter at the West Side residence.
“It just got too much to bear for the family to have to walk over blood-stained carpeting,” Russell said. “We could not to wait on the city to do it. The city did call and apologize and said it was an accident, but they didn’t think enough of the family to come clean up their accident.”
Russell said the family attorney, Sam Adam Jr. is picking up the tab.
Early Saturday morning, Chicago police shot and killed Jones and LeGrier, both African American, after a 911 call over a domestic disturbance. About 16 hours after the incident, the department admitted Jones was shot by mistake. According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, the grandmother was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.
While the aftermath team completed its grisly work, a private detective hired by Adam knocked on doors in the 4700 block of West Erie Street. He looked for the owners of a half-dozen homes with security cameras on the outside.
Both Adam and LeGrier family attorney, Basileios Foutris, say police have already seized video from some of the nearby homes.
A spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority would not confirm that, but said it was standard protocol for investigators to seek out any available video.
Russell said he is suspicious that the police only want the video to aide in their investigation.
“You would think that the City of Chicago and the police would have had enough of taking footage out of cameras,” he said. “Given the systemic history with the city not being forthright, it would be unintelligent of us to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
One neighbor, who didn’t want to give his name, said police came in and took the hard drive connected to his cameras, but he didn’t think they had a view of the shooting anyway.
In front of the two-story apartment where Jones and LeGrier were killed, Gary Jones sat in his car.
Jones is the father of Bettie Jones’ five children.
“I’m feeling really down today,” Gary Jones said. “This is my first time seeing the bullet holes and blood and it’s really brought me down again.”
Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer/reporter. Follow him @pksmid.