WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A former suburban Chicago police officer who was fired after he shot into a car two years ago, killing a Black man and seriously wounding the man’s girlfriend, has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
A grand jury returned indictments on Wednesday against former Waukegan police Officer Dante Salinas in the Oct. 20, 2020, shooting that killed a 19-year-old local man, Marcellis Stinnette, and wounded his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, the Lake County News-Sun reported. Salinas also was indicted on charges of aggravated battery and official misconduct stemming from a separate incident in 2019, the newspaper reported.
On the night of the shooting, another Waukegan officer stopped the couple’s car and was questioning them when Williams suddenly drove off, according to investigators. The officer pursued them and Salinas responded to his call for help and joined the chase. Williams ran off the road and then put her car in reverse, leading Salinas, who had gotten out of his car, to fire several shots, striking Williams and Stinnette.
The shooting came just weeks after an officer in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot and wounded a Black man, Jacob Blake, which led to several nights of protests that were sometimes violent. The Waukegan shooting also sparked protests and led the police department to quickly fire Salinas for what it described at the time as “multiple policy and procedure violations.”
Williams, who according to court records has been charged with aggravated fleeing, sued Salinas and the officer who stopped her and Stinnette earlier that night.