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Stephon Watts, 15
Calumet City, Illinois
February 01, 2012

Agencies: Calumet City Police Department Illinois

Last updated: about 1 year ago

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Autistic 15 year-old Stephon Watts was killed by Calumet city police called to his home by his father when he lunged at them with a butter knife. 

On the morning of February 1, Stephon was having an emotional meltdown because he didn't want to go to school. His father, Steven Watts, called the hospital and described the situation, and they told him to call police.

This wasn't unusual. The local Calumet City, Ill., police had been to the home 10 times under similar circumstances, and Stephon's social worker had also counseled the family to call police in various situations.

According to his father, Stephon had already calmed down by the time four white police officers arrived and was sitting quietly in the basement of his home. But the sight of the officers frightened him, so he raised a butter knife and lunged at the gun-toting officers.

That's when police shot and killed the African American teenager.

Police say they drew their weapons and yelled for Stephon to drop the butter knife. He didn't. Moments later, two officers ended Stephon's life. One of the officers received a superficial cut to the arm.