Breaking the law has, and always will have, steep consequences. In our advanced society, we have a punishment to fit every crime. Since this country’s inception, scholars and legal authorities have theorized and argued about the best way to police a nation. No one theory is without flaws, but for many years, our criminal justice system has worked adequately to keep the American people safe and free from harm.
One of the unavoidable flaws in the system is the imperfection of human nature. Police officers, by their very nature, have the authority to do what an ordinary citizen cannot. They can apprehend suspects of crime and act within the confines of the law to keep the peace. This peacekeeping role sometimes requires physical altercations, and in extreme scenarios, use of deadly force.
The use of deadly force by police officers has recently become a very sensitive issue, one that has created widespread mistrust of the police.
On Saturday, April 4, 2015, at around 2:00 pm, 17-year-old Justus Howell was meeting with a man named Tramond Peet in Zion, Illinois. Peet, an 18-year-old, was selling Howell a handgun. According to the Chicago Tribune, the illegal transaction did not occur as planned.
Police say that Howell stole the gun from Peet. The two teenagers got in a scuffle over the gun, and a shot was fired. Police say that this was how they were alerted to the scene. When they arrived, Howell was escaping on foot. Zion police officers chased him down and told him to surrender. When the teen didn’t acquiesce, one officer fired his gun twice, hitting Howell twice in the back. The bullets penetrated his heart and liver, killing him.
In the wake of this terrible personal injury accident, residents of the Zion community have come out to support Howell’s family and protest the unnecessary death of the young man. Hundreds of people attended the funeral, which was held several days after Howell’s death.
If your loved one has been killed in an altercation with the police, please call our Boston wrongful death accident attorneys. Call us at 617-787-3700 to receive your free and confidential legal consultation.