T-Boz Demands Justice For Mentally Ill Cousin Shot 18 Times by Peoria 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.
My Cousin Was Shot 18 Times Including the Face and Back of His Head! He Harmed NO ONE EVER! He Had Mental Health Issues AND THE COPS KNEW THAT! Anything he's ever Done Was minor and NON VIOLENT! Eddie Russell Jr -A Human-Being -A Son- Brother-Friend-Nephew - Cousin-HUMAN! The cops told his mother to call him out on a bullhorn -- USED her saying "WE WILL GIVE HIM THE HELP HE NEEDS" and He Came Out Because He Heard His Mother and They used beyond excessive force to gun him down also with heavy artillery used in warfare! 18 times? Shot eighteen times??? IF THEIR GOING ON WHAT HES HOLDING AT THE BANK THAT ISN'T A GUN! (Picture Is Posted)They Keep saying he had a gun! I don't see a gun in his hand at the bank they say he tried to rob! That's NOT A GUN! They blocked everyone off including neighbors at a 4 block radius including his mother and father and family!People could NOT go home! So no camera phones accessible is that why? COPS DIDN'T HAVE ON BODY CAMS now isn't that convenient! They Lied and told family members Eddie Jr was at the hospital to get them away from the house knowing he was dead outside the house where they killed him! They kept his BODY OUTSIDE ON THE GROUND FOR MANY MANY HOURS! First they reported he ran out shooting =LIES! Then one cop shot =LIES! Then 5-6 shots =LIES! Then 5-6 cops shot YEAH CLEARLY! But why SO MANY TIMES? Why THE AR15? They didn't even wait for the negotiator to arrive or is it that the negotiator took his time getting there? They haven't Even Gave my cousin the RESPECT of trying to call and explain WHAT HAPPENED IN DETAIL TO HER CHILD! He needs JUSTICE! His Mother and Father and Family need JUSTICE!!!! This wasn't a hostage situation! He didn't threaten anyone's life! This was a mentally iLL young man who needed help and should have received just that! PLEASE HELP HIS MOTHER AND SPREAD HER STORY SO SHE CAN GET THE HELP SHE NEEDS AND JUSTICE FOR HER SON!!!! His Mother Has Tried For Many Years To Get Her Son Mental Health Counseling He Needed! The system Failed Him and Her! #AmericaIsTainted #TrumpIsAChump #TakeAKnee #BendAKnee #JusticeForEddieJr #Shot18Times #tboz #tlc #tbeezy #tlcarmy #justice #peoriaillinois #EddieRussell
The singer continued on Twitter, where she claimed officers lied to her family about Russell’s body.
And THEY LIED TO MY FAMILY AND SENT THEM TO THE HOSPITAL KNOWING HE WASNT THERE— Tionne T-Boz Watkins (@TheRealTBOZ) September 24, 2017
He NEVER DESERVED TO GET SHOT 18 times with AR 15's No one was being held hostage! But one thing we can ALL SEE that doesn't look like a gun— Tionne T-Boz Watkins (@TheRealTBOZ) September 24, 2017
PLEASE SPREAD THIS STORY FOR HER FOR US ABD MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR EDDIE RUSSELL JR MY COUSIN ANYONE WILL TELL U HOW SWEET AND HARMLESS HE IS— Tionne T-Boz Watkins (@TheRealTBOZ) September 24, 2017
I've watched this story change so many times right before my eyes! Jr. Was a sweet harmless young man with mental issues he couldn't help— Tionne T-Boz Watkins (@TheRealTBOZ) September 24, 2017
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.
This article originally appeared on Vibe.