Police officer who shot black couple inside car is sacked

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A suburban Chicago police officer has been sacked after shooting a black couple inside a vehicle, killing a 19-year-old man and wounding his girlfriend.

The officer who fatally shot Marcellis Stinnette and wounded Tafara Williams following what authorities have described as a traffic stop late on Tuesday committed “multiple policy and procedure violations”, Waukegan police chief Wayne Walles said in a brief statement.

No other details, including the officer’s name, have been provided.

A protest over the shooting
People hold signs during a protest rally for Marcellis Stinnette (Daily Herald/AP)

Lake County State’s attorney Michael Nerheim has asked the US justice department to review the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

“I am confident in the work being done by the Illinois State Police and welcome the assistance of the FBI,” Mr Nerheim said in a statement.

“As I have said before, once the investigation is concluded, all the evidence will be reviewed and a final decision will be made with respect to any potential charges.”

Protest rally
A woman takes photos during the rally (AP)

Police said that as the second officer approached, the vehicle started moving in reverse and the officer opened fire.

No weapon was found in the vehicle.

The officer who shot the couple is Hispanic and had been with the Waukegan police Department for five years.

Police said the officer who conducted the original traffic stop was white.

A protest rally
Sherrellis Sheria Stinnette, grandmother of Marcellis Stinnette, 19, is comforted during a rally (Daily Herald/AP)

Activists and relatives of the couple also have demanded the release of police video of the shooting, which authorities say has been turned over to investigators.

Activist Chris Blanks said the video is particularly important because the police version of events and the version Clifftina Johnson said her wounded daughter, Ms Williams, shared with her, appear to contradict each other.

Ms Johnson said her daughter told her that Ms Williams and her boyfriend had done nothing to provoke the officer.

Mr Nerheim urged calm while the investigation takes place and pledged transparency.

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