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Interview with relative of man shot by police on South Side

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Deneice Franklin, the cousin of Shapell Terrell, called me on Tuesday. Terrell was the 39-year-old man who was shot and killed by police in the 8500 block of South Oglesby at about 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 22.

Franklin wanted to set the record straight about Terrell's criminal background, which she says the police deliberately distorted in an effort to protect the police officers' action. She also shared her family's version of what happened the night Terrell was killed by police.

Please note that a spokesman with the Chicago Police Department declined to comment.

Still, I think it is important to discuss Franklin's accusations. Hopefully, witnesses of the shooting will contact the Independent Police Review Authority so that this matter can be resolved as quickly as possible.

Here's what Franklin told me.

About Terrell's criminal background:

"He was not in a gang. For starters, my family grew up on the West Side. My cousin was 39-years-old. He had seven children and he was married for 13 years. He was in the garbage industry. The police are talking about he was a felon; my cousin got in trouble when he was 18 or 19 years old. He stole a car and that was supposed to be off his record. The aggravated assault was against a man who was assaulting his wife. Before they try to diminish his character, they should look at the circumstances behind his arrests.

"They are trying to portray him as a lunatic. When he opened the door, nobody said police. There were no words between my cousin and police. No words."

Where it happened:

The shooting occurred outside of an apartment building in the 8500 block of South Oglesby. The building is owned by Terrell's grandmother. Terrell was apparently estranged from his wife of 13 years, and had been living in the building for about a month with his two young daughters.

"The night of the shooting:

According to Franklin, Terrell was not loitering in front of the building, but had actually gone outside to round up his daughters who had been playing across the street at a neighbor's barbecue.

"It was about 12:30 and I was going home. I told Pell (Terrell's nickname) that his kids were still outside," Franklin said. "He said: 'Not my kids' and went outside to get them. By that time I was driving off.

"I heard the bang, bang, bang, but it didn't really register with me. When I got home, about 15 minutes later, my grandmother called and told me I had to come back," she said.

"The whole area was locked down. I saw the ambulances pull up. There were a lot of squad cars, maybe 200 police officers. The area was roped off and nobody could come in and nobody came out. I called Channel 7 on my cell phone and they sent somebody out," Franklin said.

After the shooting:

"The police officers were so rude. They were laughing like it was a joke. When his wife finally came from Hammond, she couldn't get any answers. They wouldn't let her on the other side of the rope.

"Then maybe four or five hours later, an investigator came and told us that the victim is deceased and two guns were recovered at the scene.

About the guns:

"The two guns the police said Terrell had didn't have any blood on them, and had never been fired. There was no gunshot residue."
[Police spokesman claims Terrell brandished the guns and had a gun in each hand when he ran from he police officers.]
"Not only did they shoot him, but they kept shooting him," Franklin said.

According to Franklin, about 28 bullets were fired and Terrell was struck 15 times.

"The front of my grandmother's apartment is riddled with bullet holes. We have owned that building for years. My mother was raised in that building, my brother and my cousins. We've been there over 45 years and there has never been an incident like this.

"At first, none of this registered. We were told by the investigators, that we couldn't talk to anyone and not to worry, we will get this resolved," Franklin said.

"The Fire Department came and we were waiting. The ambulances left and hours later, this [police] wagon comes. They put my cousin in a body bag. They took large blankets and put them under their foot and tried to get the blood up. It was smudged all around. They put the blankets and I think a shirt in a biohazardous bag and threw it in a dumpster not 50 feet from where it happened.

"My aunt asked him: 'Where are you taking that?' He told her: 'I'm not taking it home if that is what you are asking.'"

Police presence in the neighborhood:

"For the last month, police have been heavy on the South Side. The police drive by and will shine a light in your face. They stop you for no reason at all, run your ID and see if you have warrants," Franklin said.

"There was a shooting on 83rd and Colfax and people fighting on 83rd and Crandon, and there are always kids out playing on Oglesby, but from 87th to 85th from Oglesby to Yates and those surrounding areas, there hasn't been a lot of shooting. The stuff that I am hearing--the woman who got killed, the guy who got shot, and the store that got robbed happened further East."

Franklin described the apartment building as a brick building with an "old wooden door. The door has glass and there is another door that opens to the apartments.

The bullets:

"There are bullet holes all at the bottom of the door, bullet holes on the right side of the door, bullet holes on the bottom where the wood is, there are one or two bullets in the middle of the door, and more bullet holes outside the door.

"He had over 15 bullet holes. He got shot in the back of his legs, two or three times in his butt, he got shot in the middle if his spine near his shoulder blades. He got shot in the face. That is more consistent with him running away, but the police is saying they had to use deadly force.

Terrell's last night:

"He worked in the garbage industry and had to be at work at 3:00 AM. He was at the barbecue hanging out earlier with his two little girls. They are 5 and 4 years old. They had been running back and forth to the barbecue all day. He was dressed for work. He had on his work pants and shirt."

The morgue:

"After they took him to the morgue, his wife and his family went there. We had to bring ourselves to do it. When they went to pick up his body, the received his belongings bag. It had $2.75 in miscellaneous coins, no wallet, no money and he had just got paid that Friday. No nothing, not even his cell phone, just a cell phone battery. His wedding ring was gone."

The aftermath:

"This is unfair to me and my family. There was globs and globs of coagulated blood left. They left folded up gloves, pieces of paper over the grass, projectiles in the door. The police came back looking for the bag the Fire Department threw in the dumpster, but we would not let them take the dumpster because it was our dumpster that we put there because my grandmother was having some remodeling done.

"Yesterday we were doing candles in front of the door, and we were all outside talking about the funeral arrangements. A little boy was outside pretending to shoot at my little cousin: bang, bang, bang. Then she falls down on the floor and gets up like it is a game.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Mitchell published on June 26, 2008 5:33 AM.

Race blog is back was the previous entry in this blog.

Study shows blacks more likely to be shot than whites even when holding harmless objects is the next entry in this blog.

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