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Local

Wake for slain NIU student, Quintonio LeGrier, set for Friday

Amirius Clinton, 21 (center with scarf), a junior at Northern Illinois Unverisity and a friend of Quintonio LeGrier, who was shot and killed by Chicago police last week, protests Thursday with the Rev. Michael Pfleger against gun violence in Chicago on Michigan Avenue.
Amirius Clinton, 21 (center with scarf), a junior at Northern Illinois Unverisity and a friend of Quintonio LeGrier, who was shot and killed by Chicago police last week, protests Thursday with the Rev. Michael Pfleger against gun violence in Chicago on Michigan Avenue.

DeKALB – The Northern Illinois University sophomore killed by Chicago police last month will be laid to rest this weekend.

The wake for Quintonio LeGrier, a 19-year old engineering major, will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Friday at the House of Branch funeral home, 3125 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, but a worker at the funeral home said the location has not been determined, as of early Monday morning.

LeGrier was home on break when he was killed by police the day after Christmas. A Chicago police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call Dec. 26 on Chicago’s West Side shot LeGrier, and fatally wounded by accident a 55-year-old woman, Bettie Jones.

It is not yet confirmed who from NIU will represent the university at LeGrier’s services. But NIU spokesman Brad Hoey said it is customary for NIU to have a presence at students’ services.

“Traditionally, we have had university administrators attend – whether its the wake or the funeral,” Hoey said. “We’ve done that in the past, so I would anticipate that we would have some administrators there, at a least one of them.”

In the days following LeGrier’s and Jones’ deaths, protests and demonstrations were held in Chicago to blast the city’s spate of police-involved shootings and to call for an end to gun violence there, in general.

Hoey said that NIU Dean of Engineering Promod Vohra and Katrina Caldwell, assistant vice president of student affairs, attended one demonstration held Thursday in Chicago. He explained that NIU President Doug Baker likely would have been there, had the president not been out of town.

“Obviously, we want to show support to our students,” Hoey said. “Quintonio was involved in the Black Male Initiative [a student-sponsored program] so, we wanted to be able to make sure that the students were supported in a very important cause: for peace and understanding. We’ve had these conversations on campus and I think we’ll continue to have these conversations throughout the semester.”

LeGrier had several run-ins with NIU police, court records show. And he was out on bail at the time of his death after a May incident where he punched a residence hall worker and was charged with aggravated battery.

It was his father who called police to the West Side apartment the day LeGrier was shot. Antonio LeGrier told police dispatch that his son was threatening him with a baseball bat. Police on the scene said they were met with a “combative” Quintonio, according to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department.

But members of NIU’s Black Male Initiative program that LeGrier was part of said he was working on getting himself together.

“He came to BMI in search of brotherhood and guidance,” said Amirius Clinton, head of marketing for the Black Male Initiative program, who also marched Thursday. “He was trying to better himself.

Hoey said the university was aware of some of LeGrier’s issues and had provided resources to him in an effort to help him work those issues and “be successful.”

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