The Daily Beast
The fired Waukegan, Illinois, cop who fatally shot 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette and injured 20-year-old Tafara Williams has been identified as Dante Salinas, according to court documents.The officer, who was identified in a lawsuit filed by Williams Wednesday evening, was also involved in another violent incident more than a year before Stinnette’s death in which he allegedly pistol-whipped an unarmed man during an arrest outside his nephew’s baptism party, court documents show. The victim of that August 2019 incident, Angel Salgado, sued the city of Waukegan and Salinas two months ago, alleging he suffered “severe lacerations” and “several bone fractures” during the assault.“As a direct result of defendant, City of Waukegan’s failure to adequately train, prepare, and equip defendant, Officer Salinas, plaintiff, Angel Salgado’s civil rights were violated and he was unlawfully assaulted and battered by defendant, Officer Salinas, resulting in injuries including numerous facial fractures,” the lawsuit states.Waukegan Cop Fired for Fatally Shooting Black TeenagerThe lawsuit filed by Williams in District Court for the Northern District of Illinois identifies James Keating as the second officer involved in the Oct. 20 incident. Authorities say the fatal shooting of Stinnette occurred after an officer tried to approach the couple’s car—but they drove off and were found later on another street. When another cop tried to approach the car again, the vehicle allegedly began to reverse, causing the officer to shoot “in self-defense,” police said.No weapons were found in the car and Williams later said in a press conference she turned on the car’s cabin lights to give the officer a better visual that she “wasn’t doing anything illegal.” Salinas has since been fired for “multiple policy and procedure violations,” the lawsuit states.Waukegan Police Department has previously confirmed an officer who had been on the force for five years had been terminated for the same infractions related to the incident.“I can hear Marcellis still breathing, I told them, ‘Please don’t shoot, I have a baby, we have a baby, we don’t wanna die,’” Williams said Tuesday. “An officer dragged me away from Marcellis. I begged him to take him first because he had just got surgery not too long ago. They ignored me.”The Waukegan Police Department did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.In Williams’ lawsuit, which also names the city of Waukegan as a defendant, the 20-year-old alleges she had just put her child to bed when she went outside with Stinnette to smoke a cigarette in her grey sedan.“At the time, a police vehicle without its overhead lights made a U-turn and came down the one-way the wrong way,” the lawsuit states, adding that Williams had turned on her car because of the cold weather.The lawsuit states Keating pulled up next to Williams’ car and approached the couple, despite not having any “reasonable suspicion or probable cause.” Despite never informing the 20-year-old she was under arrest, Heating put his hand on his gun while he was speaking to her, prompting her to slowly drive away from the officer out of fear for her and Stinnette’s life, the lawsuit states.The lawsuit adds that after Williams drove away, Keating told another officer to stop her car, but did not “immediately follow with his police lights on.” Williams then turned the corner and made contact “with an electrical pole,” at which time Salinas, who was already on the scene, got out of his car with his weapon drawn.According to one witness at the scene, the lawsuit states, Williams screamed, “Why you got a gun?” while Salinas began to “discharge his firearm.” The lawsuit states that the 20-year-old’s car moved backwards, though the witness claimed she was not driving at the officer nor was he in the path of her car.“Officer Salinas, despite not being in the path of the vehicle, discharged his weapon at the front and/or driver’s side of Ms. Williams's vehicle,” the lawsuit states.”In a press conference on Tuesday, Williams said that the officer who shot the 19-year-old covered him with a blanket while he was still breathing. The Waukegan Police Department confirmed that Stinnette was transported alive to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.“At said time, Defendant police officers had no information that any violent crime had been committed and/or that any individuals were in danger of death or serious bodily harm,” the lawsuit states. “At said time, Defendant police officers had no knowledge of any criminal activity or possible criminal activity associated with Ms. Williams.”The lawsuit also says that Williams told officers she did not have a gun, nor did the officers have a reason to believe the couple were a threat. As Williams exited the car, she allegedly stated “I don’t want to die” reportedly with her hands up, despite sustaining injuries to her hand, abdomen, and organs.“Ms. Williams waited on scene for an ambulance, and did not receive medical assistance for some time as she bled out from her stomach,” the lawsuit states.The lawsuit against Salinas comes just a year after another Waukegan resident claimed the officer violently attacked him after a baptism party for his nephew. According to the lawsuit, obtained by The Daily Beast, Salinas was patrolling on Victory Street when he approached Angel Salgado on his father-in-law’s property.Without warning, Salinas allegedly drew his weapon and threatened Salgado, “escalating the situation and causing the plaintiff to fear for his well-being.” The lawsuit claims Salinas used his taser on Salgado and, during an ensuing physical altercation, pistol-whipped him. The assault caused lacerations and bone fractures, according to the suit.Salgado admits in the lawsuit that he resisted arrest because he believed the officer’s treatment of him was unlawful. During the scuffle, Salinas called for backup and was assisted by other Waukegan Police Department officers in successfully arresting Salgado.The lawsuit also takes aim at the city of Waukegan and its top officials, alleging that the mayor and chief of police have accepted a pattern and practice of excessive force from its officers, including using “unconstitutional police tactics.”“As final policymakers, Mayor Sam Cunningham and Chief of Police Wayne Walles, by creating this custom or usage of excessive force during the arrest and/or detention of accused individuals amounted to a policy decision,” the lawsuit adds.The lawsuit claims that Salgado was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest, a crime that he pleaded guilty to the next day. Lawyers for Salgado, who told The Daily Beast they are also representing Stinnette’s family, did not immediately provide a comment on the lawsuits. Salinas also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.