LAKE COUNTY, Ill. – Justus Howell was just 17-years-old when he was shot and killed by a Zion Police Department officer.

On this sixth anniversary of his tragic death, Howell’s family took to the streets to demand justice, vowing that their fight won’t cease until charges are filed against the officer responsible.

“We demand justice, justice for Justus Howell,” protesters chanted Sunday afternoon as they marched from where Howell was shot in 2015 to the police station.

Police say Howell met up with another teen to buy a stolen handgun when they started fighting and the gun went off.

Officers responded and chased Howell.

One officer shot him in the back, when that officer says, Howell turned slightly toward him with a gun in his hand.

The State’s Attorney concluded the shooting was justified but Howell’s family and community activists believe there was a cover-up.

“We’re going to keep taking the streets, we’re going to keep marching, we’re going to keep making phone calls, we’re going to keep knocking on doors, we’re going to keep voting,” said Carolyn Ruth, of Black Lives Matter Women of Faith.

Last year, the family’s attorney asked the State’s Attorney to reopen the case. Their request was unfulfilled. The family also filed a federal lawsuit. The jury ruled the officer did not use excessive force, however.


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