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Local News

Friend of Bruce Carter tells Joliet officials his death was 'unjustifiable'

Melissa Boatman, friend of Bruce Carter, looks at her phone Tuesday, April 16, 2019, while attending the Joliet City Council meeting in Joliet, Ill.
Melissa Boatman, friend of Bruce Carter, looks at her phone Tuesday, April 16, 2019, while attending the Joliet City Council meeting in Joliet, Ill.

The friend of a man fatally shot by a police officer in February told the mayor and City Council this week that Bruce Carter was “another victim of police misconduct.”

City officials did not respond to Melissa Boatman’s comments at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

Boatman, a Bolingbrook resident, has spoken out several times about the incident in which Carter was shot at his home Feb 6 as police investigated a bank robbery.

The shooting still is under investigation by the Will County State’s Attorney Office and the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force.

Boatman said “mounting evidence is showing that Bruce Carter was yet again, another victim of police misconduct resulting in an unjustifiable death” when she spoke at the council meeting.

Carter’s family members have questioned the few details provided by investigators about the incident.

The Major Crimes Task Force put out a statement days after the incident saying Carter was armed with a box-cutter style razor knife during a struggle with police when he was shot. Carter’s mother has said her son carried a box cutter because he worked in a warehouse.

Boatman in her comments also referred to a “clear prejudicial undercurrent in the Joliet Police Department,” which, she said, can be traced in two recent lawsuits and online postings.

Carter was black. Detective Aaron Bandy, who shot him, is white.

Boatman called on the police department to use less lethal force in the form of bean bag shotguns, Tasers and other alternatives to gunfire, while providing training in diversity and mental health issues.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk when asked about Boatman’s statement Wednesday said Joliet police already are doing many of the things Boatman recommended.

O’Dekirk would not comment on other aspects of Boatman’s statement.

“All I know is what I’m hearing second hand, so it’s not fair for me to comment,” O’Dekirk said.

Joliet police officials Wednesday did not respond to a call seeking comments on Boatman’s statement.

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