Homicide

Prosecutor: White Illinois police officer justified in killing black teen last month

  • A tear runs down the eye of Katilya Rogers, aunt of Justus Howell during a protest outside the courthouse where Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim announced a decision Thursday, May 14, 2015,  in Waukegan, Ill., that an investigation concluded that Zion police Officer Eric Hill was justified in shooting Justus Howell on April 4. Authorities say Howell, of Waukegan, met a man to buy a handgun but then tried to steal it and Howell pointed the gun at the man during a scuffle. They say Hill intervened and chased Howell through yards and an alley, then shot him twice in the back when the teen turned slightly toward him with the gun in his hand. Nerheim says Hill feared for his life. The shooting prompted complaints of racial bias. (Steve Lundy /Daily Herald via AP)

    A tear runs down the eye of Katilya Rogers, aunt of Justus Howell during a protest outside the courthouse where Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim announced a decision Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Waukegan, Ill., that an investigation concluded that Zion police Officer Eric Hill was justified in shooting Justus Howell on April 4. Authorities say Howell, of Waukegan, met a man to buy a handgun but then tried to steal it and Howell pointed the gun at the man during a scuffle. They say Hill intervened and chased Howell through yards and an alley, then shot him twice in the back when the teen turned slightly toward him with the gun in his hand. Nerheim says Hill feared for his life. The shooting prompted complaints of racial bias. (Steve Lundy /Daily Herald via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A tear runs down the eye of Katilya Rogers, aunt of Justus Howell during a protest outside the courthouse where Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim announced a decision Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Waukegan, Ill., that an investigation concluded that Zion police Officer Eric Hill was justified in shooting Justus Howell on April 4. Authorities say Howell, of Waukegan, met a man to buy a handgun but then tried to steal it and Howell pointed the gun at the man during a scuffle. They say Hill intervened and chased Howell through yards and an alley, then shot him twice in the back when the teen turned slightly toward him with the gun in his hand. Nerheim says Hill feared for his life. The shooting prompted complaints of racial bias. (Steve Lundy /Daily Herald via AP)

    A tear runs down the eye of Katilya Rogers, aunt of Justus Howell during a protest outside the courthouse where Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim announced a decision Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Waukegan, Ill., that an investigation concluded that Zion police Officer Eric Hill was justified in shooting Justus Howell on April 4. Authorities say Howell, of Waukegan, met a man to buy a handgun but then tried to steal it and Howell pointed the gun at the man during a scuffle. They say Hill intervened and chased Howell through yards and an alley, then shot him twice in the back when the teen turned slightly toward him with the gun in his hand. Nerheim says Hill feared for his life. The shooting prompted complaints of racial bias. (Steve Lundy /Daily Herald via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ralph Peterson of Waukegan speaks out against the findings of Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim who announced a decision Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Waukegan, Ill., that an investigation concluded that Zion police Officer Eric Hill was justified in shooting Justus Howell on April 4. Authorities say Howell, of Waukegan, met a man to buy a handgun but then tried to steal it and Howell pointed the gun at the man during a scuffle. They say Hill intervened and chased Howell through yards and an alley, then shot him twice in the back when the teen turned slightly toward him with the gun in his hand. Nerheim says Hill feared for his life. The shooting prompted complaints of racial bias. (Steve Lundy /Daily Herald via AP)

    Ralph Peterson of Waukegan speaks out against the findings of Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim who announced a decision Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Waukegan, Ill., that an investigation concluded that Zion police Officer Eric Hill was justified in shooting Justus Howell on April 4. Authorities say Howell, of Waukegan, met a man to buy a handgun but then tried to steal it and Howell pointed the gun at the man during a scuffle. They say Hill intervened and chased Howell through yards and an alley, then shot him twice in the back when the teen turned slightly toward him with the gun in his hand. Nerheim says Hill feared for his life. The shooting prompted complaints of racial bias. (Steve Lundy /Daily Herald via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A prosecutor says he won't charge a white northeastern Illinois police officer in the fatal shooting a 17-year-old black boy last month.

Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said Thursday that an investigation concluded that Zion police Officer Eric Hill was justified in shooting Justus Howell on April 4.

Authorities say Howell, of Waukeegan, met a man to buy a handgun but then tried to steal it and Howell pointed the gun at the man during a scuffle. They say Hill intervened and chased Howell through yards and an alley, then shot him twice in the back when the teen turned slightly toward him with the gun in his hand.

Nerheim says Hill feared for his life.

The shooting prompted complaints of racial bias.