A police officer in Elgin, Illinois, a town near Chicago, shot and killed a black woman on a highway early Monday morning. Right now Illinois State Police are investigating Lt. Christian Jensen, trying understand why he killed Decynthia Clements according to the Chicago Tribune.
Clements was driving on Interstate 90 when Jensen pulled her over for an undisclosed reason. She refused to get out of her SUV, and talked to the police while holding a knife in her hand. Somehow, a fire broke out in her car, and police forcibly removed her. During her removal from the vehicle, the shooting occurred.
Elgin police chief Jeff Swoboda said that at least five officers were at the scene during the fire and shooting. Illinois State Police, Lt. Donald Orseno is overseeing the investigation.
“There’s not much I can say about it at this time,” Orseno said. “The investigation is still ongoing.”
On Tuesday, Swoboda opened up his home to community members who wanted to learn more about the incident and ask him questions face-to-face. Eric Rubin and Corey Battles took the chief up on the invitation.
"We are asking for accountability and an independent review," Battles said. "People from the community can help."
Battles also wondered why lethal force was used. "It should have been non-lethal — rubber bullets or a long stick," he said.
Battles added that he believes there are many good, honest and hard-working police officers, but that "there are bad apples at every job. Weeding them out, that is the problem."
Clements' brother, Nehemiah told the Elgin Courier that his sister was a good mother to her 16-year old son. “She was a lovable person,” he added, “She always tried to be the life of the party.”
Clements' uncle added that the family is confused and upset about the killing.
“There was no reason for this, to do that to her,” he said. “She was a good girl. There was no reason to kill her, what Elgin did to her. It was unjustifiable, to me, but I am not the law and I can’t say [why she was killed].”
Swoboda said he expresses his condolences to the family.
"I want to express my condolences to the family, anytime anyone loses their life in an incident like this, it’s extremely sad,” he said.