Group protests decision to not charge Zion officer who fatally shot teenager

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WLS) -- About 30 people gathered in downtown Waukegan Friday afternoon to protest a decision to not charge a Zion police officer who fatally shot teenager Justus Howell.

On Thursday, Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim announced that that the officer was "justified in his decision to use deadly force." Howell, 17, was shot twice in the back while running from police the afternoon of April 4 in far north suburban Zion.

Some people said it is the latest example of a white police officer killing a young African American man. They want a federal investigation of the Zion shooting.

Justus Howell

The protests shut down some streets near Madison and Sheridan near the Lake County State's Attorney's office in Waukegan, where the group was chanting "Justice for Justus." Howell's mother participated in the protest and others carried a sign with photos of other people who were killed by police officers.

Howell, who was African American, was carrying a loaded gun and the officer feared for his life, Nerheim's investigation concluded. He released surveillance video footage that captured the shooting that he said shows a slight turn by Howell as the point in which the officer had seen a gun in the teenager's hand.

On Thursday, Howell's family members urged protestors to be peaceful.
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