City asks to sue estate of teen fatally shot by Chicago police

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The city is asking a federal judge to approve a lawsuit against the estate of 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer the day after Christmas in 2015.

The lawsuit would allege that LeGrier was responsible for the shooting that also claimed the life of his 55-year-old neighbor Bettie Jones.

City lawyers filed a motion Thursday asking a Cook County Judge to approve the suit. If it is approved, ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer said it could shift liability for Jones' death onto the LeGrier estate.

The attorney for LeGrier's family had a message for the city Thursday night.

"The city should be offering condolences rather than suing the LeGrier family. Which, by the way, it's never done," said basileios Foutris, attorney.

ABC7 Eyewitness News confirmed the city of Chicago wants a judge to approve a lawsuit against the estate, claiming he's responsible for the shooting that led to his and Jones' death. They were both shot and killed by Officer ROber Rialmo, who was responding to 911 calls about a domestic disturbance at the LeGrier residence.

"It's very unusual to see a claim by the city against an estate by someone who had been shot by a police officer," Soffer said. "If the city can convince the court or a jury that responsibility was shared or that responsibility lies with the person that was shot, it may be able to reduce its exposure significantly."

The city's proposed lawsuit argues LeGrier failed to follow police commands, swinging a bat at police and failing to control his mental illness.

"It's outrageous and the bottom line is the physical evidence does not support, at all, the narrative put forth by the shooter," Foutris said.

The city's Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) still has not released a report on whether it believes the shooting was justified under police policy.

The city's law department declined to comment.
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