T-Boz Rallies for Justice On Behalf of Mentally Ill Cousin Who Was Fatally Shot 18 Times by Police

TLC singer T-Boz is using her platform to speak out on the behalf of her cousin Eddie Russell Jr. who lost his life at 25 years old at the hand of the Peoria Police Department on September 20 after Russell was named a suspect in an armed robbery situation at First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust.

T-Boz, whose real name is Tionne Watkins, took to social media to speak her truth on the matter via Instagram on Sunday (Sept. 25). According to reports, her cousin Russell was shot 18 times by police following a standoff outside of his family home. As previously stated, the shooting and Russell’s subsequent untimely death are reported to have happened on Wednesday of last week.

Russell was followed to his family home and there, he was met by a Special Response Team that subsequently surrounded his place. His mother attempted to deescalate matters by informing authorities that her son was mentally ill. However, when Russell exited the house, he was shot 18 times by six officers who fired their weapons at him – AR-15s to be exact. The officers allege that Russell was “aggressively” advancing towards them, which is why they fired their weapons.

A gun was recovered at the scene, but the “Waterfalls” singer still has questions she needs answers to, regarding the incident.

My Cousin Was Shot 18 Times Including the Face and Back of His Head! He Harmed NO ONE EVER! He Had Mental Health Issues AND THE COPS KNEW THAT! Anything he’s ever Done Was minor and NON VIOLENT! Eddie Russell Jr -A Human-Being -A Son- Brother-Friend-Nephew – Cousin-HUMAN! The cops told his mother to call him out on a bullhorn USED her saying “WE WILL GIVE HIM THE HELP HE NEEDS” and He Came Out Because He Heard His Mother and They used beyond excessive force to gun him down also with heavy artillery used in warfare! 18 times? Shot eighteen times??? IF THEIR GOING ON WHAT HES HOLDING AT THE BANK THAT ISN’T A GUN! (Picture Is Posted)They Keep saying he had a gun! I don’t see a gun in his hand at the bank they say he tried to rob! That’s NOT A GUN! They blocked everyone off including neighbors at a 4 block radius including his mother and father and family!People could NOT go home! So no camera phones accessible is that why? COPS DIDN’T HAVE ON BODY CAMS now isn’t that convenient! They Lied and told family members Eddie Jr was at the hospital to get them away from the house knowing he was dead outside the house where they killed him! They kept his BODY OUTSIDE ON THE GROUND FOR MANY MANY HOURS! First they reported he ran out shooting =LIES! Then one cop shot =LIES! Then 5-6 shots =LIES! Then 5-6 cops shot YEAH CLEARLY! But why SO MANY TIMES? Why THE AR15? They didn’t even wait for the negotiator to arrive or is it that the negotiator took his time getting there? They haven’t Even Gave my cousin the RESPECT of trying to call and explain WHAT HAPPENED IN DETAIL TO HER CHILD! He needs JUSTICE! His Mother and Father and Family need JUSTICE!!!! This wasn’t a hostage situation! He didn’t threaten anyone’s life! This was a mentally iLL young man who needed help and should have received just that! PLEASE HELP HIS MOTHER AND SPREAD HER STORY SO SHE CAN GET THE HELP SHE NEEDS AND JUSTICE FOR HER SON!!!! His Mother Has Tried For Many Years To Get Her Son Mental Health Counseling He Needed! The system Failed Him and Her! #AmericaIsTainted #TrumpIsAChump #TakeAKnee #BendAKnee #JusticeForEddieJr #Shot18Times #tboz #tlc #tbeezy #tlcarmy #justice #peoriaillinois #EddieRussell

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The singer took her grievances to Twitter, where she continued to speak her piece, claiming that the officers of the Peoria Police Department were lying.

To make matters worse, none of the officers there during the incident were wearing their body cameras so it’s the officer’s word above all else.

Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell expressed his condolences to Russell’s family and expressed his willingness to meet with the family in person to discuss the shooting in detail and put their minds at ease. “We understand right now that emotions are raw and they’ve just lost a loved one,” Mitchell told HOI ABC. “We understand that, we want to respect them. When they’re ready, hopefully they’ll come in and have some dialogue.”

On Friday (Sept. 22), a protest was held on Russell’s behalf in an effort to call for the reprimanding of all of the officers involved. As of now, no charges have been given to the six police officers involved in the shooting, but have been placed on administrative leave following the fatal shooting.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.