Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins is setting aside her platinum selling voice and instead using it to call attention to an important issue that recently struck close to home.
T-Boz’s cousin, Eddie Russell Jr., was gunned down by police last week in Peoria, Illinois. According to local station Peoria Public Radio, Russell was followed home after police identified him a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust. Although Russell’s mother alerted police that her son suffered from mental illness, he was shot 18 times while exiting the home. The six officers who fired the shots claimed he “aggressively advanced” towards them, but T-Boz and the rest of the family feel that the story doesn’t make sense.
The singer took to twitter to call out Peoria Police Department and their alleged mishandling of the situation. She stated the officers clearly used excessive force on a man they knew had mental health issues. She also claims the police lied and said her cousin had been rushed to the hospital, knowing he already died at the scene.