The licensed Waukegan, Ill., Cop who shot dead Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and injured Tafara Williams, 20, has been identified as Dante Salinas, according to court documents.
The officer, who was identified in a lawsuit filed by Williams on Wednesday night, was also involved in another violent incident more than a year before Stinnette’s death in which he allegedly pistol-whipped an unarmed man during an arrest in front of the baptismal party of his nephew, court documents show. The victim of the August 2019 incident, Angel Salgado, sued the city of Waukegan and Salinas two months ago, alleging that he suffered “severe lacerations” and “multiple bone fractures” during the assault.
“As a direct result of the Respondent, the inability of the Town of Waukegan to properly train, prepare and equip the Respondent, Agent Salinas, Complainant, Angel Salgado’s civil rights were violated and he was unlawfully assaulted and beaten by the defendant, Agent Salinas, resulting in injuries, including numerous facial fractures, ”the lawsuit said.
Williams’ lawsuit in District Court for the Northern District of Illinois identifies James Keating as the second officer involved in the October 20 incident. Authorities say Stinnette’s fatal shooting occurred after an officer attempted to approach the couple’s car – but they drove off and were later found on another street. When another cop attempted to approach the car again, the vehicle reportedly began to reverse, causing the officer to shoot “in self-defense”, police said.
No guns were found in the car, and Williams later said at a press conference that she turned on the car’s cabin lights to give the officer a better idea than she “did. was doing nothing illegal ”. Salinas has since been fired for “multiple violations of policies and procedures,” the lawsuit says.
The Waukegan Police Department previously confirmed that a police officer who had been in the force for five years was dismissed for the same offenses related to the incident.
“I can hear Marcellis still breathing, I told them, ‘Please don’t shoot, I have a baby, we have a baby, we don’t want to die,” “Williams said Tuesday. “An officer dragged me away from Marcellis. I begged him to take him first because he had just had surgery not so long ago. They ignored me.
The Waukegan Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Beast’s request for comment.
In Williams’ lawsuit, which also names the town of Waukegan as the defendant, the 20-year-old alleges that she had just put her child to bed when she went out with Stinnette to smoke a cigarette in her gray sedan.
“At the time, a police vehicle without its headlights turned around and went down one way the wrong way,” the lawsuit said, adding that Williams had turned his car on because of the cold weather.
The lawsuit says Keating pulled over next to Williams’ car and approached the couple, although he had no “reasonable suspicion or probable cause.” Although he never informed the 20-year-old that she was under arrest, Heating put his hand on his gun as he spoke to her, prompting her to walk away. slowly from the officer out of fear for her and Stinnette’s life, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit adds that after Williams left, Keating told another officer to stop his car, but did not “immediately follow up with his police lights on.” Williams then turned the corner and made contact “with an electric pole”, at which point Salinas, who was already at the scene, got out of his car with his gun in hand.
According to a witness at the scene, the trial said: Williams shouted, “Why do you have a gun?” while Salinas began to “unload his gun”. The lawsuit says the 20-year-old’s car backed up, although the witness claimed she was not driving on the officer and was not in the path of her car.
“Constable Salinas, although he was not in the path of the vehicle, discharged his gun from the front and / or driver’s side of Ms. Williams’ vehicle,” the lawsuit said.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Williams said the officer who shot the 19-year-old covered him with a blanket while he was still breathing. The Waukegan Police Department confirmed that Stinnette was taken alive to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
“At that time, the accused police officers had no information that a violent crime had been committed and / or that individuals were in danger of death or serious bodily harm,” the trial said. “At that time, the accused police officers were not aware of any criminal activity or possible criminal activity associated with Ms. Williams.”
The lawsuit also says Williams told officers she did not have a gun and that officers had no reason to believe the couple were a threat. Getting out of the car, Williams reportedly said “I don’t want to die” with his hands up, despite injuries to his hand, abdomen and organs.
“SP. Williams waited at the scene for an ambulance, and did not receive medical assistance for some time because she was bleeding from the stomach,” said the trial.
The lawsuit against Salinas comes just a year after another Waukegan resident claimed the officer brutally assaulted him after a baptismal party for his nephew. According to the lawsuit, obtained by The Daily Beast, Salinas was patrolling Victory Street when he approached Angel Salgado on his stepfather’s property.
Without warning, Salinas allegedly drew his gun and threatened Salgado, “aggravating the situation and causing the complainant to fear for his well-being”. The lawsuit claims Salinas used his taser on Salgado and, in a subsequent physical altercation, whipped him with a pistol. The assault resulted in lacerations and bone fractures, according to the costume.
Salgado admits in the trial that he resisted arrest because he believed his treatment of him was illegal. During the scuffle, Salinas called for reinforcements and was assisted by other officers from the Waukegan Police Department to successfully arrest Salgado.
The lawsuit also targets the town of Waukegan and its senior officials, alleging that the mayor and chief of police accepted a pattern and practice of excessive force on the part of his officers, including using “unconstitutional police tactics.”
“As the final policy makers, Mayor Sam Cunningham and Police Chief Wayne Walles, in creating this custom or using excessive force in the arrest and / or detention of the accused, it was about ‘a political decision,’ adds the trial.
The lawsuit claims Salgado was charged with the offense of resisting arrest, a crime he pleaded guilty to the next day.
Salgado’s lawyers, who told the Daily Beast they also represent Stinnette’s family, did not immediately comment on the lawsuits. Salinas also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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