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Vigil held for former Waukegan resident killed by St. Paul police

Wearing a red T-shirt bearing a photo of Cordale Quinn Handy, his sister Whitney Jones, along with his mother Kim Handy Jones and brother Mathew Wegleiz, watch as people gather at a prayer vigil in Handy’s memory in Waukegan on Wednesday, March 22. (Yadira Sanchez Olson / Lake County News-Sun)

One week after 29-year-old Cordale Quinn Handy, a former Waukegan resident, was shot and killed by St. Paul, Minn. police, Kim Handy Jones surrounded herself with a large crowd of family and friends who gathered for a prayer vigil in memory of her son in Waukegan Wednesday.

Outside of the home where Jones said she grew up on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, and that now belongs to her aunt, some of the more than 80 people who attended held red heart-shaped balloons, while others displayed signs with the names of black men who have been killed by police officers.

"Back then, we had family that worked hard every day… and they were working just to keep their head above water and to give their children things that they never had," Jones said about the reason why the home was special to the family.

"When I look at this house, I think about all the lives of the people who that have graced it, Cordale had his start here, too," Jones said through a microphone.

A prayer vigil for Handy was also held on Sunday in Minnesota, said Valerie King, a friend of the family who shed tears on Wednesday while speaking to the crowd.

"I can’t do it no more. I can’t do it no more," King said after screaming that she was tired of burying young men.

On Wednesday, the family’s attorney, Andrew M. Stroth, said by phone that the family is seeking truth and justice.

Stroth disputes the police version of the events of March 15 when three officers responded to an apartment building in St. Paul’s Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood about 2:30 a.m. because of a domestic situation call that involved physical violence.

On Tuesday, Jones sent a letter to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman asking him to arrange for her to privately view videos of the incident that were recorded on cell phones and were confiscated by police, Stroth said.

According to a the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the mayor offered his condolences to Jones but said he’s unable to ask police to allow her the viewing until an investigation is concluded.

According to the Associated Press, Handy died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Yadira Sanchez Olson is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.