ABC/Randy HolmesTLC‘s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins wants justice after the recent shooting death of her cousin, Eddie Russell Jr.
In a letter posted over the weekend to her Instagram, T-Boz claims Russell Jr. was shot 18 times by cops who knew he had “mental health issues.”
She writes, “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??? 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!”
T-Boz continues: “IF THEIR [sic] GOING ON WHAT HE’S HOLDING AT THE BANK THAT ISN’T A GUN! 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!”
“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!”
According to the Peoria Journal Star, Russell Jr. was in an armed robbery that took place at Peoria, IL’s First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust on September 20.
He was shot later that day by police.
Police Chief Jerry Mitchell stated police only fired five or six shots at Russell Jr., whom he claims “advanced aggressively” toward them.
However, the Peoria Journal Star reports that 18 to 20 gunshot wounds were found on Russell Jr.’s body, per an autopsy report.
The investigation is currently being handled by the Illinois State Police.
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#JusticeForEddieRussellJr The Punishment Doesn't Fit The Crime! Being that he's known in that small town 4 NOT being violent
— Tionne T-Boz Watkins (@TheRealTBOZ) September 25, 2017