T-Boz’s family plans to sue an Illinois police department for the murder of her mentally ill cousin.
The TLC singer recently spoke with TMZ, where she said her family had yet to hear back the Peoria Police Department about the fatal shooting of her cousin, Eddie Russell Jr.
“It’s so disappointing…The crime doesn’t fit the punishment,” T-Boz, real name Tionne Watkins, said. “This child had a non-violent history…he was mentally ill. The police aren’t equipped to deal with a mentally ill person.”
The incident started when Russell was caught on camera allegedly robbing a bank. A standoff between the 25-year-old and police officers took place after at Russell’s home for several hours, until officers used his mother to call him out of the home. From there, police claim that Russell advanced toward them with a gun, which led to a shootout. The cops fired until he was shot dead, with officers firing approximately 15-20 rounds.
“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!” Watkins wrote on social media following the shooting.
The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave while an investigation into the incident takes place.