Cop who fatally shot unarmed black teen in Illinois is identified

The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen in Illinois last week has been identified in court papers as Dante Salinas. 

Salinas is accused of shooting Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, 20, after they ‘fled from a traffic stop’ in Waukegan last Tuesday night.  

Stinnette passed away in hospital, while Williams sustained wounds to her stomach and hand. She has since filed a lawsuit against the city, which names Salinas as the shooter. 

According to The Daily Beast, Salinas has already made headlines for his involvement in another violent incident. 

Last August, he was accused of ‘pistol-whipping an unarmed man’ during a baptism party.  The alleged victim, Angel Salgado, sued both Salinas and the city of Waukegan claiming he suffered ‘severe lacerations’ and ‘several bone fractures’.  

Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, 20, were both shot by Waukegan  police officer Dante Salinas last Wednesday after they ‘fled from a traffic stop’ . Stinnette died in hospital, Williams is still recovering 

 Salgado claimed in his suit that he was at his father-in-law’s home for a baptism party when he was approached by a patrolling Salinas.

The unarmed Salgado said Salinas threatened him and drew his weapon, ‘escalating the situation’ before the cop Tased and pistol whipped him.

Salgado pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting arrest, which he admitted to because he believed Salinas’ treatment of him was unlawful, the suit claims.

The lawsuit also accuses the mayor and chief of police of having accepted the use of ‘unconstitutional police tactics’ in Waukegan.

Meanwhile, Salinas has been fired following the fatal shooting of Stinnette last week.

Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles say Salinas committed ‘multiple policies and procedure violations’ during the shooting. Salinas, who is Hispanic, was a five-year veteran of the force.

His body-camera was not switched on at the time he fatally shot Stinnette. 

In a news conference held at her hospital beside on Tuesday, Williams recalled the moments leading up to Stinnette’s shooting. 

She said she and Stinnette were sitting in her car to smoke after putting their seven-month-old son to bed. 

Just before midnight, they were approached by a white officer who pulled up to their vehicle and began questioning them. 

Williams recalled the moments leading up to Stinnette’s shooting during a news conference held at her hospital bed on Tuesday

‘I rolled down my windows and turned on all the lights inside the car so the officer could see I had no weapons and I wasn’t doing anything illegal,’ Williams stated. 

Williams said that cop began hassling Stinnette, saying he knew him from when he was in jail and that he was under arrest. 

She then allegedly asked the officer whether they were free to leave. He did not reply, so Williams says she drove away and the officer did not follow. 

Williams claims her car was then subsequently approached by a police vehicle, which was laying in wait. It was being driven by Officer Salinas. 

Williams alleges she then lost control of her car, which prompted Salinas to fire his gun as he gave chase. 

‘There was a crash and I lost control. The officer was shooting at us. The car ended up slamming into a building. I kept screaming, “I don’t have a gun.”  But they kept shooting. He told me to get out of the car. I had my hands up, and I couldn’t move because I had been shot.’

Salinas disputes that version of events, saying that he shot in self-defense after the car began to reverse towards him.    

Body camera footage from the first officer shows the moment he approached the vehicle in which Stinnette and Williams were together, minutes before midnight on October 20

On Wednesday, Waukegan police released clips from multiple cameras to piece together the incident. Although Salinas’ bodycam was not on, they were able to obtain his dashcam video

On Wednesday, Waukegan police released clips from multiple cameras to piece together the incident. 

Although Salinas’ bodycam was not on, they were able to obtain bodycam footage from the first officer who confronted Stinnette and Williams in the car. 

There also is dashcam video from Salinas’ vehicle.

That footage shows a high-speed chase through Waukegan that ended with Salinas firing his weapon multiple times.  

Compliance of systematic reviews in ophthalmology with the ...

Protests have taken place in Waukegan since the incident, but they have been largely peaceful

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim has asked the U.S. Justice Department to ‘review the circumstances’ surrounding the October 20 shooting, and once the independent investigation is completed it will be turned over to the state’s attorney office for review.

Protests since the incident have been largely peaceful, and Waukegan has avoided the kind of looting and violence that occurred in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin, just 15 miles north of Waukegan, after a white police officer shot a black man, Jacob Blake, in the back seven times in August.  

Yet, Williams told protesters in a telephone call from her hospital bed that she would continue to fight for justice on Stinnette’s behalf. 

‘He didn’t deserve it, and they waited for him to die,’ she said Saturday on a call that a crowd of protesters heard after her mother put a megaphone to her cellphone.

Rayon Edwards speaks on a megaphone as he marches with protesters during a protest rally for Marcellis Stinnette on October 22