Donates $5,000 to the mother
By Chinta Strausberg
Millionaire and philanthropist may- oral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson said he gave $5,000 to the mother of Quintonio LeGrier because she was homeless. Wilson also said he didn’t like an alleged deal the mayor’s administration offered her, saying it was neither ethical nor moral.
Wilson made his comments during a press conference held outside of Mayor Emanuel’s fifth floor office where he was joined by LeGrier’s mother, Janet Cooksey, Edward Ward, community activist with the Black Lives Matter movement and F. Scott Winslow, campaign spokesperson for Wilson.
The press conference was held on what would have been LeGrier’s 22nd birthday. “Quintonio’s mother lost her son. She was homeless out in the street,” said Wilson. “She won the case in court, but the mayor repealed it. She was supposed to get the $105 million, but she would not agree to not talk about the shooting of her son.” Dr. Wilson said it is wrong to ask for a gag order on the mother in exchange for the settlement.
Dr. Wilson was referring to the jury awarding $105 million to the mother. Her son was killed by Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo, but the jury also found that on December 26, 2015 Rialmo believed he feared for his life when he confronted LeGrier who had an aluminum bat in his hand.
The situation began when LeGrier and his father called the police around 4:25 a.m. on that fatal day. The father blocked his door when LeGrier tried to force his way into his room. They called the police and Rialmo and officer Anthony LaPalermo responded. Also shot and killed was LeGrier’s downstairs neighbor, Bettie Jones.
Dr. Wilson said he would not stand by and see Cooksey out in the street. “She went to a friend’s house. It’s wrong what was done to her. That is why I wrote a check for $5,000. It wasn’t political. The mayor stooped that low, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle didn’t say anything about it; so, I came to her rescue.”
When asked about his mayoral campaign, Wilson said, “We are leading in the polls.” Dr. Wilson also referred to his recent speaking engagement at the City Club of Chicago, where more than 100 Hispanics were expected there to support him. “We will have some whites as well. We’re going to win this thing,” he added.
When asked about Rep. LaShawn Ford’s jumping into the mayoral race, Wilson said, “Where did he get the money from? They didn’t come against the mayor about the Laquan McDonald situation. All of them are cowards as far as I am concerned.
“We are going to win this race. We campaigned in all 77 communities. We expect to win it without a runoff. Tonight, we did an online talk with the youth and less than 15 minutes into it we had over 8,000 people online. This Saturday we will be at the Chicago Baptist Institute at 11 a.m. with 300 supporting ministers,” Wilson said, referring to November 10 and boasting of his growing, diverse mayoral support.