2 Wounded In Police Shootings, Including 13-Year-Old Boy
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UPDATED 07/26/11 5:45 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police shot and wounded two people on the city’s West Side overnight, including a 13-year-old boy who refused to drop a BB gun, police said.
But as CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the parents of the boy, who is identified as Jimmell Cannon, claim their son never had a gun on him, yet was shot eight times by police.
His mother, Kenyata Cannon, said, “I heard the shots, but I never thought it was my child being shot.”
Jimmell’s father, Jimmie Porter said his son was shot “twice in the right hand, once on each shoulder, and four times in the leg.”
As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, Cannon was recovering at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County on Tuesday, wearing a neckbrace, his ankles cuffed to the side of his bed.
Police said the restraints are necessary, even if a suspect has been sedated. It’s normal police procedure. They also disputed that the boy was shot eight times, saying only six shots were fired.
Jimmell, who was listed in stable condition, is expected to recover.
“He’s scared. Every time he wakes up, the police is sitting at the foot of his bed, not the same officer that shot him, but he’s getting the same visual, because it’s the last thing he remembers is being shot,” Kenyata Canon said. “When he opens his eyes, he just cries.”
Kenyata Cannon said her son was celebrating a cousin’s birthday when shots rang out in their West Humboldt Park neighborhood. Police responded to the scene. According to Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, that’s when police officers approached the teen, because he matched the description of the gunman.
But when the officers approached, the boy fled, then took out a gun and pointed it at police, prompting police to open fire.
“They pursued in the vehicle and on foot, resulting in the officer firing six times, striking the young man. The gun was recovered at the scene. It was in fact a bb gun. We have civilian witnesses and forensic evidence to support the officer’s story of what in fact occurred during this event.”
Kenyata Cannon said her son told her police shot him “for no reason.” She said her son told her he didn’t have a bb gun.
Porter said police shot his son for no reason, other than that he was running away from officers. He said Jimmell was actually surrendering when police opened fire on him.
“He stopped and put his hands in the air, and they started shooting,” Porter said. He said his son never had a BB gun or any other kind of weapon.
But police say that is not what happened at all.
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Police say around 11 p.m., the boy was spotted as officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 4300 block of West Walton Street in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood. The boy was believed to be responsible for the shooting, and police tried to stop him a few blocks away in the 4200 block of West Cortez Street.
But police say the boy ran off, took out a gun and pointed it at police. So they fired back several times and struck the boy around the corner in the 1000 block of North Kedvale Avenue, police said.
Police say the boy’s age notwithstanding, the threat to their safety was real.
“When you have a 13-year-old boy running with a gun in his hand, and the police tell him, ‘Police! Drop the gun!’ and he doesn’t, what do you expect the police officer to do?” said Chicago Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden, the former deputy director of the police News Affairs office. “They’re being put in a position where they have no choice.”
Police also said they recovered a BB gun at the scene.
“Maybe they did,” Porter said. “Just because they found the BB gun doesn’t mean he had it.”
Jorge Cardero lives near the scene of the incident.
“We heard gunshots, and everybody hit the floor,” Cardero said.
One of the bullets hit Cardero’s window.
“The double glass helped,” Cardero said. Had the window only had a single pane, he said, “it would have gone through. My wife and my second child were sitting on the floor, so if that bullet had gone through, who knows who would have gotten hit?”
Cardero says he’s not quite sure what led up to the shooting right outside of his house.
Another neighbor, Carrie Williams, said she never heard police officers announce their office or call out an order or warning before opening fire.
“Not once did we hear them say, ‘Stop!’ or, ‘Halt! Police!’” she said. “We did not hear that.”
Williams said two seconds after she walked into her house, she heard the gunshots. But her grandson was still outside, getting out of his car.
“He did not see a gun in the boy’s hand. He told the officers that last night,” Williams said.
When she came out, she saw Jimmell lying outside of her fence.
“He shouldn’t have had a BB gun, and I feel like he shouldn’t have been on street at the time of night, and I can understand the officers being afraid now with so much tragedy going on.”
The boy was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, fire officials said. His condition was later upgraded to stable.
21-Year-Old Man Shot By Police In Earlier Incident
Police had approached the suspect, identified by relatives as Joe Banks, 21, at Kedzie Avenue and Franklin Boulevard. Police had intended to question him, but he ran off and officers chased him, police said.
Harrison District bicycle officers and a supervisor joined the chase, and the suspect pointed the gun at the supervisor, police said. The suspect was ordered to drop the weapon, but he instead pointed it at the supervisor again, and the supervisor shot him, police said.
“He ran through this alley, ran through the lot, and was gunned down right there on Ohio and Sawyer,” said witness Mack Smith.
Banks was taken from the scene to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, fire officials said.
While police say Banks pointed a gun, outraged relatives say he was defenseless.
“He was coming from out south to come to my uncle’s birthday party, and he was riding his bike, and they said he had a gun, and they shot him in his back,” said Banks’ cousin, Jessica Ramey.
Smith also said Banks was unarmed.
“I saw him running from around the corner through the alley. He was holding his pants up. No weapon on him or anything like that. There were three officers chasing him on a bike,” Smith said. “They shot that boy for no apparent reason. They shot him because they couldn’t catch him.”
But police say they even recovered a gun at the scene.
Both Banks and the 13-year-old boy have survived their run-ins with police. But as of now, the number of deadly police shootings have already out-paced all of last year.
In an exclusive interview Monday with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, police Supt. Garry McCarthy fired back at those who claim his officers are trigger-happy. McCarthy says it’s a matter of self-defense.
“Somebody points a gun at you, you have to defend yourself,” he said.
Chicago police officers have used deadly force 40 times already this year, compared to 46 times all of last year. Sixteen suspects have been shot and killed, compared to 13 last year.
McCarthy says he doesn’t want officers to hesitate at the cost of their own lives. He says his officers have used their weapons in self-defense 18 times in his two months on the job. In only one case is an officer being investigated for misusing deadly force.
“What we can do is work on police training to ensure that we’re right when these things occur,” McCarthy says.
McCarthy says he personally reviews every police shooting and rejects any suggestion that some Chicago police officers believe they have a license to kill to reduce crime.
McCarthy says the number of police shootings will drop only when suspects stop confronting officers with weapons of their own.
(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)