Ill. cops on leave after killing doughnut shop robber
Courtney Greve, Daily Southtown
Copyright 2005 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.
Two Midlothian police officers went on paid leave Monday as State Police began investigating the officers' decision to gun down an alleged robber who climbed through a doughnut shop's drive-up window and pistol-whipped an employee.
Bobby Pounds of Dixmoor repeatedly used his gun to beat the employee's head and face about 11:15 p.m. on Sunday at the Dunkin' Donuts at 14631 S. Pulaski, police said.
When Pounds, who turned 21 the same day he was killed, spotted the Midlothian officers who had been flagged down by another Dunkin' Donuts worker, Pounds allegedly pointed the gun at them. The officers then opened fire, shattering two windows and a door.
'THEY SAVED HIS LIFE'
African-American ministers and Pounds' family raised questions Monday about whether deadly force was needed, noting Pounds' 6-foot, 140-pound frame.
But Midlothian Detective Sgt. Harold Kaufman said he is "very, very confident" the officers acted appropriately based his review of security-video footage. The Dunkin Doughnuts employee received 19 staples and nine stitches before he was released Monday from St. Francis Hospital in Blue Island, police said.
"The officers were at the right place at the right time," Kaufman said. "I honestly feel, from the beating [the victim] took, they saved his life by being there."
FAMILY WANTS ANSWERS
The two officers, whom officials refused to identify, are on paid leave while the Illinois State Police public integrity unit investigates the incident.
More than 20 of Pounds' family members gathered Monday at Midwest Memorial Chapel in Harvey to make funeral arrangements and challenge police to provide answers. Pounds' survivors include two sons, Ryan, 4, and Justin, 17 months.
"We're not here today to argue innocence or guilt," said the Rev. Lance Davis of New Zion Christian Fellowship in Dolton. "We're here to raise questions as to the amount of force used to murder an individual and to stop the open season on young African-American men in the community."
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