“The Chicago police officer who killed Quintonio LeGrier has filed a lawsuit against the teen’s estate,” cnn.com reports. “In a counterclaim filed last week, Officer Robert Rialmo alleges the 19-year-old whom he shot dead the day after Christmas assaulted him with a baseball bat and caused him to suffer trauma. He’s seeking more than $10 million in punitive damages from LeGrier’s estate.” According to Officer Rialmo’s lawsuit . . .
“The fact that LeGrier’s actions had forced Officer Rialmo to end LeGrier’s life, and to accidentally take the innocent life of Bettie Jones, has caused, and will continue to cause, Officer Rialmo to suffer extreme emotional trauma,” the lawsuit says.
Yup. Officer Rialmo shot an innocent bystander to death.
Rialmo’s lawsuit gives the officer’s side in the controversial case, saying the officer opened fire after LeGrier “took a full swing” at his head, “missing it by inches.”
“He told me that he felt the breeze of the bat passing in front of his face, it was that close,” attorney Joel Brodsky told CNN affiliate WBBM-TV.
In a statement on Facebook, Brodsky said Rialmo “was taken aback by the speed in which the family of Mr. LeGrier rushed to file a lawsuit.”
“He wants to make the point that having a relative killed in an officer-involved shooting is not the same thing as winning the lottery,” Brodsky said. “Only the few cases of truly excessive use and abuse of force should be subject to legal actions.”
I would have thought that’s the judge’s point to make. Also, this will do Officer Rialto no favors in the court of public opinion, which doesn’t quite equate a missed bat swing or two with an innocent bystander assuming room temperature post-perforation.
Nor will this action help embattled Chicago Mayor Emanuel who publicly declared that there were “serious questions” about the incident. Not that we don’t like watching the gun control advocate squirming. Anyway, watch this space.