CPD Officer Robert Rialmo testifies in Quintonio LeGrier wrongful death case

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The Chicago police officer at the center of a civil trial in the shooting death of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier took the stand in his own defense. (WLS)

The Chicago police officer at the center of a civil trial in the shooting death of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier took the stand in his own defense.

Officer Robert Rialmo is accused of killing LeGrier, along with LeGrier's neighbor Bettie Jones, in 2015.

Rialmo arrived to court on Tuesday with an entourage of Cook County Sheriff's deputies. His attorney requested the special escort due to death threats.

Rialmo is the Chicago police officer who fired seven shots in the early morning hours the day after Christmas 2015. LeGrier, a 19-year-old college student home on break, and his downstairs neighbor Bettie Jones were shot and killed.

In the second day of the wrongful death trial of LeGrier versus the City of Chicago - Rialmo's employer - a forensic pathologist testified that Legrier's injuries were inconsistent with Rialmo's claim that LeGrier came at Rialmo with his arms raised over his head holding a baseball bat.

"His arm would be down and slightly back," Dr. Judy Melinek testified.

Showing the jury a diagram of LeGrier's wounds from five bullets - three to the back, one on the side and one through the arm - she added that LeGrier would have been losing blood and felt pain.

"He would have had a shortness of breath and a feeling of impending doom until his death," she said.

In cross examination with an attorney representing the city, Melinek disagreed with the claim that Quintonio LeGrier was on the porch testifying.

"Quintonio did not fall with his feet across the threshold," Melinek said.

Rialmo took the stand late Tuesday afternoon, the first time he has spoken publicly about the shooting of LeGrier and Jones. He testified he was "ill-equipped" and "ill-prepared" to deal with the situation he encountered.

Rialmo will continue testifying when the trial resumes at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Jurors are expected to see videotaped depositions from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.
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police shootingchicago police departmentlawsuittrialChicagoWest Garfield ParkLoop
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