Mother of ESL shooting victim sues city, police chief and officer

By Kelly Holleran | Aug 3, 2009

The mother of a deceased man has filed suit against the city of East St. Louis, one of its police officers and the chief of police, alleging her son died after he was shot by an East St. Louis officer.

Brenda Williams claims her son, Willie P. Johnson, was visiting family and friends at the 1000 block of Division Street in the parking lot of the Norman E. Owens Housing Complex on July 29, 2007, at about 3:15 a.m.

"That at said time and place Defendant Randolph negligently, recklessly, intentionally and without legal justification shot Willie P. Johnson causing his death," the suit filed July 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.

Prior to the incident, Randolph had harassed others, including Johnson. Despite their knowledge of past incidents, the city of East St. Louis and Police Chief Michael Baxton still hired Randolph, according to the complaint.

Because of the shooting, Brenda Williams and Willie P. Johnson's five children – Talexia Johnson, Shalexia Johnson, Zalexia Johnson, Willie P. Johnson Jr. and Kevion W. Johnson – lost their son's and father's services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training and support, the complaint says.

In addition, Brenda Williams incurred funeral and burial costs, according to the complaint.

In the two-count suit, Williams is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

She will be represented by Gerald M. Dunne of Dunne, Green and Ramic in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-398.

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