Mother Files Suit Against Peoria for Son's Death

Jun 18, 2018

Eddie Russell pictured with his mother, Anita Johnson. Johnson has filed a federal lawsuit seeking damages in the death of her son. He was shot by police, September 20, 2017 after allegedly robbing a bank, holding-up inside the family home for about three hours and reportedly emerging with a raised gun. Russell Jr. was also known to have a mental condition.

  PEORIA, Ill. - A mother whose son was fatally shot by Peoria police las September is suing the city and several officers.

    

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Peoria late Sunday alleges officers shot Eddie Russell Jr. at least 17 times as he lifted a garage at the family's Peoria home with both hands.

 

He was the only a suspect in an armed bank robbery that happened immediately before he retreated into the family home and refused to communicate for three hours.

 

    The filing says officers knew Anita Johnson's 25-year-old son suffered from mental illness. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. It names Peoria and several officers as defendants.

 

    Protesters marched to the police department after the shooting. Family attorney Andrew Stroth says officers "utilized a brazen military-style approach and executed" Russell, who was black.

 

The Illinois State Police investigation found the police shooting was justified. Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady also ruled the police had no alternative as Russell approached them after exiting the house. Russell’s body was 11 feet from one group of police after the shooting.

 

A message seeking comment from the city was left early Monday.