T-Boz Demands Justice For Mentally Ill Cousin Shot 18 Times By Police Officers
The shocking police-related shooting of a relative in Illinois has driven T-Boz to call out the Peoria Police Department on their practices.
On Sunday (Sept. 24), the TLC singer posted a lengthy statement on Instagram about her cousin Eddie Russell Jr. The 25-year-old was reportedly shot 18 times after a police standoff outside of his home. Peoria Public Radio reports the shooting happened Wednesday (Sept. 20) when Russell was labeled a suspect in an armed bank robbery at First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust.
Russell was followed to a family home where a Special Response Team surrounded the home. His mother alerted police about her son’s mental health in an effort deescalate the situation. Russell came out of the home was shot 18 times, an autopsy confirmed. The six officers who fired their weapons claimed Russell “aggressively advanced” towards them when he stepped out the home. While a gun was recovered at the scene, the singer posed several questions about the incident.
The singer continued on Twitter, where she claimed officers lied to her family about Russell’s body.
Witnesses claim the block where the stand-off took place was blocked from public view while police reps confirmed the officers involved weren’t wearing body cameras.
Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell tells HOI ABC he would like to meet with the family to discuss details behind the shooting.“We understand right now that emotions are raw and they’ve just lost a loved one,” Mitchell said. “We understand that, we want to respect them. When they’re ready hopefully they’ll come in and have some dialogue.”
Russell’s family and friends held a protest Friday (Sept. 22), demanding the officers involved to face charges. “He dealt with a barrage of different medications and different reactions to it and different things, and times where he may be distanced or out of it,” a family member said about the Illinois native.
The officers connected to the shooting are currently on critical incident leave.