Former Waukegan police officer Dante Salinas charged with second-degree homicide in 2020 capturing of Marcellis Stinnette

CHICAGO (CBS) — The former Waukegan police officer who shot and killed 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette and wounded Stinnette’s girlfriend throughout a chase in 2020 is now going through homicide and manslaughter costs.

Dante Salinas has been charged with three counts of second-degree homicide and one depend of involuntary manslaughter in Stinnette’s dying, in accordance with Lake County courtroom data.

Former Waukegan police officer Dante Salinas

Lake County Sheriff

Salinas shot and killed Stinnette and wounded his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, on Oct. 20, 2020, throughout a chase after they’d fled an earlier cease in Waukegan. Williams was significantly injured, however survived.

Before the capturing, Williams and Stinnette had fled a suspicious car cease. Officer James Keating had pulled them over, telling them he was arresting Stinnette on an excellent warrant, however they took off.

Salinas later situated them and pulled them over. Salinas fired the photographs simply 12 seconds after strolling as much as the car through which Stinnette was a passenger and Williams was behind the wheel.

Marcellis Stinnette (Credit: Legal Help Firm)

A search warrant from the night time of the capturing claims Stinnette had an excellent warrant out of Florida for a probation violation. But it was non-extraditable, which means Stinnette would not be despatched again for it.

Video launched by the town of Waukegan inside days of the capturing didn’t present the precise capturing, as a result of Salinas didn’t activate his physique digital camera till after capturing Stinnette and Williams – a call that received him fired from the division.

The footage did doc Salinas explaining why he fired into the automotive, as he’s interviewed by one other officer.

“It backed up right at me; it was in between my squad car…. I fired my weapon because I thought I was the next one run over,” Salinas says.

Dashboard digital camera from Salinas’ car does present him following the couple’s automotive earlier than the capturing, as Williams’ automotive slides off the street at Martin Luther King Jr. and South avenues. As Salinas will get out of his squad automotive, the {couples}’ automotive begins backing up, however Salinas is not seen in that footage, so it is unclear from the video if he was within the automotive’s path earlier than firing.

“I was right behind you and you almost tried to run me over!” the officer is heard yelling.

From one other angle, the reversing automotive finally ends up slamming right into a brick wall. By that time, Stinnette and Williams had been shot.

The capturing was not the one time Salinas has been in hassle. He has a historical past of lawsuits towards him, claiming conduct that goes manner over the road.

He was sued in 2019, after a Waukegan man, Angel Salgado, was arrested whereas attending a household baptism – though Salgado says he was “behaving lawfully.”

Police experiences state Salgado had flagged Salinas down – after which Salgado “kept yelling and advancing in a menacing manner.”

Salinas deployed his Taser and finally tackled Salgado to the bottom, putting him within the face with the butt of his gun.

Police data present that a number of inside evaluations of the physique cam decided that the precise use of power was “within department policy.”

But Salgado’s attorneys have mentioned Salinas overreacted and escalated the scenario, saying that the audio in physique digital camera footage of the incident would not come on for 30 seconds.

“During that 30 seconds, my client described that [Salinas] was screaming out the window at him, yelling – very rude, very disrespectful,” lawyer Kevin O’Connor mentioned in 2020.

Salinas was not disciplined in that case, though in a ultimate memo on the incident, Salinas’ commander mentioned Salinas ought to evaluate the tape, saying, “This would give Officer Salinas some of tools he could use if faced with a similar situation in the future.”

Williams additionally has filed a lawsuit towards Salinas, accusing him of utilizing “an unreasonable amount of force in relationship to the threat or force posed by the Plaintiff, who was not resisting any lawful arrest or threatening the life or safety of any police officers.”

Attorneys mentioned Salinas and Keating had private animosity towards Williams and Stinnette, and mentioned the City of Waukegan was “encouraging, accommodating, or facilitating a ‘blue code of silence’” in its police division.

Williams’ lawsuit additionally blames the town of Waukegan for improper coaching, as did Salgado’s lawsuit.

In video from the night time of the capturing, it was clear Keating instantly acknowledged Stinnette within the passenger seat after first pulling over the couple’s car at Liberty and Oak streets.

“What’s your first name? You’re Marcellis, right?” Keating mentioned.

He then mentioned, “You’re under arrest, man.” When Williams asks why Stinnette is underneath arrest, the officer replies, “because I said.”

“Hey, come on, show me the hands, pal. I ain’t playing with you because I know you. Marcellis, you’re under arrest,” Keating mentioned.

“He’s under arrest for what though?” Williams mentioned.

“Because he got a warrant,” the officer mentioned.

The officer and Williams continued speaking backwards and forwards till Williams drove off.

“They just ran me over,” Keating mentioned.

That’s when Salinas picked up the chase that ended with him capturing Williams and Stinnette.

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