Testimony begins in Quintonio LeGrier wrongful death case

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Testimony began Monday in the wrongful death civil trial of Chicago Police officer Robert Rialmo, the officer who shot and killed two people in 2015. (WLS)

Testimony began Monday in the wrongful death civil trial of Chicago Police officer Robert Rialmo.

Rialmo is the officer who shot and killed 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and LeGrier's neighbor, Bettie Jones, in 2015. The city already reached a $16 million tentative settlement with Jones' family.

In opening statements, jurors were told about the 19-year-old college student. LeGrier was the first to go to college in his family.

But in the early morning hours the day after Christmas, LeGrier's attorney said: "Quintonio Legrier called 911 three times for assistance. Instead, he ended up dead."

Rialmo shot LeGrier, who was staying with his father on West Erie on winter break, and the neighbor downstairs, Bettie Jones.

Joel Brodsky is the attorney representing Officer Rialmo. Brodsky picked up the bat that was found with LeGrier, alleging the bat forced Rialmo to shoot.

"The city did not adequately train, not just Rialmo, but all officers," Brodsky added.

An attorney hired by the city told the jurors in opening statements: "The evidence will show this shooting while tragic was justified."

The first witness to testify was a shooting reconstruction expert. Michael Knox showed the jury an image of the trajectory of one of the seven rounds fired by Rialmo, concluding the officer was likely closer to the sidewalk when he fired.

"Ten feet away would be the minimum. That's the distance from the base of the steps to the front door," Knox said.

The detailed testimony of the shooting appears to have upset LeGrier's mother, who left the courtroom sobbing.

"This is very emotionally draining on her when she hears the details of her son's death, so obviously it's going to be difficult throughout the trial and it's her wish to stay and hear it through the end," said James Montgomery, an attorney for the LeGrier estate.
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