Martell Williams, 15, is a freshman at Waukegan High School in Waukegan, Illinois, United States. He is on the school’s basketball team.
While Williams was playing a high school basketball game in Lincolnshire, Illinois on the evening of February 4, 2022, a Dollar Store employee was shot in the face during a shoplifting incident in Waukegan. However, he was named as a suspect in the shooting.
On February 16, 2022, Williams was pulled out of class in front of all his classmates and was arrested. He spent two nights in lockup at Waukegan Police Department.
On February 21, 2022, the city of Waukegan released a statement saying it is reviewing the case. The statement said the city has been in contact with Williams’ family and their attorney Kevin O’Connor.
On the same day, Williams spoke in a press conference. He was joined by his mother and O’Connor.
According to Williams, Waukegan Police Department officers offered him McDonald’s in exchange for a confession. The teenager said he did not even know what he was being accused of.
The officers did not even tell Williams a shooting was involved, ABC7 Chicago quoted O’Connor as saying. The attorney added, “They just said, ‘Hey, it wasn’t your fault. Just tell us you were defending yourself. Just go ahead and tell us you were there and we will let you go home.'”
O’Connor said Williams’ record has been expunged. However, they are calling for an immediate public apology that will clear the Waukegan High School freshman’s name before he goes back to school on February 22, 2022.
Founded in 1829, Waukegan was incorporated as a town on March 31, 1849 and as a city on February 23, 1859. The city is on the shore of Lake Michigan,.
In April 2021, Ann Taylor became the first female mayor of Waukegan. The city has three early childhood schools, 15 elementary schools, five middle schools and three high school campuses.