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Rockford officer use of deadly force justified in Tyris Jones shooting

Hite Ross also referenced multiple Supreme Court cases that relate to use of deadly force.
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 3:15 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said Rockford police officer Dominik McNiece was “legally justified” for his use of deadly force when he fired his weapon at Tyris Jones in October.

“I have found that officer Dominik McNiece was legally justified in the use of deadly force,” Hite Ross said.

Hite Ross provided an update with the Winnebago Boone County Integrity Task Force. She said she reviewed the investigation through the lens of use of deadly force. She proceeded to define multiple statutes in the state of Illinois. Hite Ross also referenced multiple Supreme Court cases that relate to use of deadly force.

“At the time that officer McNiece discharged, his weapon he also was aware that suspect Tyrus Jones was also being investigated for a murder offense,” Hite Ross said.

The results of the investigation come as no surprise to community activist Leslie Rolfe, who says this is another example of injustice in the county.

“It’s basically at any point of time a police officer can shoot anybody and it’s going to be justified,” Rolfe said.

To respond Rolfe held a press conference, where he listed the names of people who he says have been shot by police officers in the region including Tyris Jones.

Rolfe wants the community to see what happened on October 2nd at the intersection of S. Main St. and Harrison Ave.

“Since the officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing on S. Main and Harrison we demand as a community that the dashcam video that Mayor Tom McNamara has spent the last six months telling everybody each car is equipped with be released to the public,” Rolfe said.

Rolfe says his group, May 30th Alliance will continue to occupy city hall until the footage is released to the public.

Hite Ross released two other charges against Jones, including attempt for vehicular hijacking and aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. Jones was indicted on both charges, arising from the incident on Oct. 2. He currently has a warrant for his arrest with bond set at $1 million.

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea also released a statement in response to the investigation:

“I appreciate the Winnebago Boone County Integrity Task Force conducting a thorough investigation into the officer involved shooting in October,” O’Shea said. “Now that the State’s Attorney’s Office has rendered the decision advising the officer’s actions were lawful, we will begin our internal administrative review of the incident. I am thankful that the victim in the attempted vehicular hijacking was unharmed and no one was fatally injured during the pursuit and subsequent shooting. Tyris Jones, the suspect in this case, is still at large on an outstanding murder warrant and we are asking for the public’s help in locating him.”

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