#BlackonBlue: 6 things to know about the fatal police shooting of Decynthia Clements

Decynthia Clements thegrio.com
Decynthia Clements (WGN-TV)

TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police brutality and corruption while also exploring local and national efforts to improve policing in our communities. Join the conversation, or share your own story, using the hashtag #BlackonBlue.

shooting of an unarmed Black woman is currently under investigation in a suburb of Chicago last week.

Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda is leading the investigation into the shooting death of 34-year-old Decynthia Clements, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Clements was reportedly stopped by police after their second attempt to stop her on Interstate 90. Officials say she refused to leave her vehicle after police demanded she exit. They said officers spent more than an hour trying to persuade her to come out of the vehicle and that Clements pulled out a knife and then set a fire inside the SUV, prompting officers to forcibly remove her.

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Here are 7 things to know about the ongoing investigation into the fatal police  shooting of Decynthia Clements.

  1. Police officer placed on leave. 

Police officer, Christian Jensen has been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation by the Illinois State Police.

2. The family is awaiting the release of the video of the fatal encounter.

Activists are demanding to see the videos recorded on police body camera and squad cars. The footage is anticipated to be released this week, once the investigators have completed their interviews.

3. Protests have followed the shooting.

The DailyHerald reports that more than 100 friends, family, activists, and community members gathered to protest the lack of information they’ve received following the questionable police shooting of Decynthia Clements.

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4. There are calls for an independent investigation.

The police chief told city council members that the state police’s Public Integrity Task Force will likely take several months to review the case.

Council member Corey Dixon said he would view the videos of the shooting and is also reviewing the personnel file of Lt. Christian Jensen, the officer who police said fired his weapon. If after all the investigations are concluded, if there are still unanswered questions, Dixon said he, too, would call for an independent review of the case. He urged the community to continue to work for change.

5. The coroner won’t reveal how many times she was shot.

An autopsy conducted Tuesday determined Clements had been shot multiple times. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office deemed her death a homicide, but declined to provide information on how many times she was shot or if toxicology exams will be conducted.

6. The family has hired a lawyer.

The Clements family has hired a lawyer to represent them and to help get to the bottom of what happened to Decynthia Clements during her fatal encounter with police.