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Waukegan police shooting victim Tafara Williams says she and boyfriend Marcellis Stinnette were unarmed and did not drive at officer

Posted on: October 27th, 2020 by Romanucci & Blandin

Civil rights attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio M. Romanucci and William Pintas call for full transparency in deadly shooting

Tafara WilliamsCHICAGO (October 27, 2020)—Ben Crump Law, Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, Pintas & Mullins and their client, 20-year-old Tafara Williams, are calling for Waukegan, Illinois police to release all details related to the October 20, 2020 shooting that seriously injured Williams and killed her boyfriend, 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette. Williams, who remains hospitalized, is talking about her experience that night, the fear she felt during the encounter with police and the horror of being shot and watching the “love of her life” die, all while covered in her own blood. The two have an infant son, Marcellis Stinnette, Jr., who is 7 months old.

The incident began with a conversation with an officer when Williams and Stinnette were sitting in a parked car, and escalated to a car collision and multiple shots fired. Williams was shot at least three times and said neither she nor Stinnette were armed and that they did not drive at the officer, as claimed by police.

The officer involved in that shooting has been fired by the Waukegan Police Department but has not been charged.

“That entire incident with Waukegan Police was a total nightmare, one that I will have to relive over and over for the rest of my life,” said Tafara Williams. “My heart is completely broken, not only because I watched someone I love get shot, be in complete pain and die, but also because our 7-month-old son will never know his father. And that’s not even thinking about my own injuries, being shot multiple times and trying to get my own health back, which I don’t know if I will be able to do. This is a horrifying and unimaginable situation. As a community, we simply cannot let this happen to anyone again,” said Tafara Williams.

“The community and family are rightfully outraged at the Waukegan Police Department and the fact that the culture and practices of the police department allowed this to happen. These two young Black adults had not committed any crime, and police were unable to keep this situation from escalating,” said Antonio M. Romanucci, Founding Partner of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC. “Officers need to be trained in how to manage and diffuse situations, especially knowing that Black citizens are understandably frightened for their lives when confronted by police. This tragedy is yet another example of why they feel that way.”

“Our country has finally started to wake up and create a national conversation this year about Black and Brown people being mistreated by police far too often when their only crime is the color of their skin,” said Attorney Ben Crump of Ben Crump Law. “These young parents and their son in Waukegan have had their lives completely destroyed by the epidemic of excessive use of force. There have to be other ways police officers can be trained to de-escalate situations besides the use of deadly force that kills Black and Brown people. We must do better, America. Our children’s lives depend on it.”


About Ben Crump Law

Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and his national network of specialized attorneys have spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more, visit or call (800) 935-8111.

About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

Romanucci & Blandin is a Chicago-based national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death arising from police misconduct, corporate negligence, civil rights actions, medical malpractice, mass torts and class actions. Founded in 1998, the firm is widely recognized for representing plaintiffs in numerous practice areas including: workers’ compensation, pharmaceuticals, civil rights, police misconduct, excessive force, aviation, product liability and premises liability. For more information, please visit or call (312) 458-1000.

About Pintas & Mullins

Pintas & Mullins is a national law firm, headquartered in Chicago, which has fought for the rights of the seriously injured for more than 35 years. Its practice areas include representation for the victims of environmental injustice, nursing home abuse of seniors, medical malpractice, dangerous products and drugs, and more. Through its close association with Ben Crump law, Pintas & Mullins is a passionate advocate for those without a voice against powerful interests and bad-acting corporations. For more information please visit or call (800) 935-8111.

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