CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of a woman fatally shot by an Elgin police officer has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, the family claims the officer did not have to use deadly force.
Gun shots heard on tape are now the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit.
In March, those bullets killed 34-year-old Decynthia Clements after police say she emerged from her vehicle carrying a knife.
It was a police involved shooting that the Clements family says didn’t have to happen.
“That does not justify for one person to try and play god and shoot three times. Twice in the head, once in the chest,’ said Emmetia Sneed, Clements’ sister. “You’re shooting to kill. You took away a mother, you took away an auntie, you took away a cousin, you took away a sister.
The shooter was Elgin Police Lieutenant Christian Jensen.
He’s on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Illinois State Police.
But Clements family attorneys say the shooting was unjustified.
“The plan was to take her down without using lethal force,” said attorney Antonio Romanucci. “They actually were quoted as stating ‘we’re not going to end it for her.’ Everybody followed that plan except one officer.”
The shooting happened after nearly hour long standoff during which police say Clements set her vehicle on fire.
The shooting and much of what led up to it was caught on police body cameras.
“If she does come towards us we are probably going to try and go with a taser, then we will go with other options,”
We now know those other options included lethal force.
It will likely be up to a jury to determine whether the killing of the 34-year-old mother was justified in the eyes of the law.
A spokesperson for the city of Elgin said the city understands and respects the Clements family need for answers and asks for patience while the state police completes its investigation.