By Marissa Alter
ROCKFORD (WREX) - Mark Barmore's mother speaks out after a Winnebago County grand jury says the two officers who shot and killed her son four months ago did nothing wrong. She says she wants justice and a different outcome for her son.
She learned how the grand jury ruled at the same time the public and media did. She watched the Winnebago County State's Attorney's announcement live on last night's 10 pm news.
"The Winnebago County grand jury found that on August 24, 2009, Officer Stan North was justified in using deadly force with regards to Mark Anthony Barmore," State's Attorney Joe Bruscato stated. "The Winnebago County Grand Jury found that Rockford Police Officer Oda Poole was justified in using deadly force with regards to Mark Anthony Barmore."
Maryann Barmore had to leave the room when she heard those words from State's Attorney Joe Bruscato. She didn't want to upset other family members.
"I cried myself to sleep last night. Honest to god, I cried myself to sleep, cried and prayed."
Maryann expected the grand jury to clear Officers Poole and North of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting. But she still held out a little hope for a different outcome.
"It's like Mark being killed all over again. That's what it felt like, like I gotta bury my son all over again."
She questions the timing of the grand jury--one day before Christmas eve.
"You waited four months to get this decision. Why not wait another month, another two weeks, another week or whatever? Why do it right around Christmas? To give another slap in the face? That's what it felt like."
Especially since Maryann says her son was a Christmas person. She says he would've been at her home this holiday too.
"He'd probably be sitting up following his Grandma around, wondering when she was gonna make that banana pudding."
Instead, the family will spend this Christmas remembering the good times. Maryann fought to get custody of Mark when he was 9-years-old.
Now 13 years later, she says she'll stand up for him again.
"I will continue this fight. Even in his death, I will continue to fight to make sure we get some kind of justice for this."
The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office says the justice system worked, and the Barmore case is closed.
Not only did the grand jury rule the shooting justified, but Illinois State Police found the same in the investigation.
Maryann and other members of the black community want a federal investigation and a higher court to hear the case.