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Black Teen Was Alive When Covered by Blanket: Girlfriend

Tafara Williams disputes police account of Oct. 20 shooting
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2020 10:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Illinois woman shot by police alongside Marcellis Stinnette says her boyfriend was still breathing when officers covered him with a blanket. Tafara Williams—who, like Stinnette, is Black—spoke Tuesday from a hospital, where she's said to be recovering from gunshot wounds to her stomach and hand, per KABC. "I kept asking him why he was shooting ... [I told him], 'Please don't shoot ... we have a baby, we don't want to die,'" she said of the fired officer who shot at the couple in a vehicle in Waukegan. The 20-year-old mother of two said she was pulled away from Stinnette. "They laid Marcellis on the ground and covered him up with a blanket while he was still breathing," she told reporters via video conference, per CNN. "I know he was still alive." Police confirmed 19-year-old Stinnette was alive when taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to gunshot wounds, per NBC News.

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Police said an officer was investigating the vehicle just before midnight on Oct. 20 when it sped off. A second officer who encountered the vehicle a short distance away began shooting as the vehicle backed up toward him, police said. But Williams said she was smoking in her vehicle outside a home, with Stinnette in the passenger seat, when the first officer pulled up without lights or sirens. "He stood near the car with his left hand on his gun and he said to Marcellis, 'I know you from jail,'" Williams said. She said she asked if they could leave and drove away as the officer took a few steps back. She said they weren't followed. A few streets away, "There was a crash, and I lost control. The officer was shooting at us," she said. "I kept screaming, 'I don't have a gun,' but he kept shooting." The FBI are assisting Illinois State Police in conducting an independent investigation. (Read more Marcellis Stinnette stories.)

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