Episode 1: Courtney
iheartradio and the US census. Bureau wanted to do something special for the class of twenty twenty, so we made commencement a new podcast with boards of inspiration from the biggest names like Palsy. While we can be sold a lot of things, we will never buy a dream cash. Becky, G and pit bull generational change the world listen to iheartradio's new podcast commencement in partnership with twenty twenty census speeches available now on iheartradio APP or wherever you get your podcasts, remember you can do something that will affect the next ten years so if you lived in a dorm, don't worry. Your school will count you if you didn't visit twenty. Two thousand census, Dot Gov to be counted. What you're about to hear in the following episode does not implicate the Chicago police in the murder of Courtney Copeland. When my son, Courtney was twenty one years old. He got a BMW convertible. He loved that car like it was his girlfriend. He would talk to like the Muni. Bay. Asked her mustache more? The First Time Bay rolled into our driveway. It was late at night. Near has dropped path via Serbia Courtney hit the music blasting all the way. Like a little block part you know in the middle of my driveway. He had the top down. It wasn't even that hot outside, but of course he the top down. Inclined as A beautiful moment, and that was probably one of the most happiest. Mama's. I've Seen A-. Eight hundred number. Down granted federal government just said he was shot. Ems To the twenty at second. Right away. But not even one year later. My son wound up with a bullet in his back outside Chicago police. Station. And there are still so many unanswered questions about what led to the death of twenty two year old Courtney Copeland. Family members say Copeland was on his way to a friend's house when he was shot through his car window a bullet it has banned manage to flag down a police car in front of the twenty, Fifth District station and was rushed to a hospital. The wound was fatal. What you hear on the news that coordinate got shots himself to a police station. Where officers did everything they could to help his mother's heart. Tonight left in pieces. And then there's the troop I believe that not enough has been done to solve needs murder. What relate what would you like? I have done. I personally would have went back and re interviewed. Everybody to make sure have the police. My name is chapelle wells. I'm Courtney Copeland's mom. In this is. Somebody. So. Every day. No Bad snow. Chicago police have one of the lowest murder solve rates in the country, and it's even lower if you're black. So when it came time to find out who killed my son, I knew I'd have to figure it out on my own. I'm going to take you with me. Step by step in my investigation. But first. Let me tell you about my son. You need to know who he was in life. Because? We're going to spend a lot of time talking about his death, ooh! Corny was more a day after my twenty first birthday on. New Year's Eve nineteen ninety-three and they do remember him sleeping on my shift sometimes, and that's my mom, renee. His favorite thing was warm milk. And he talked about that. Term the dock. Grandma still remember the warm milk you give me when I was a baby, and that that was so sweet. What do you remember about the early years you'd have like will jokes and stuff. Here's my husband Brenton corny father. He's raised him since he was four years old. No, in fact like the joke. He told me he was like. What do you call? stolen cheese I said what he said Nacho cheese I like. Like it was kind of. Corny but it was still funny at the same time he had a man rose. have. Jokes that's got got along. Next. goofing off with some of his friends. Today. What's your name? Courtney's pretend to be contested on American idol. He's in the seventh grade. Right at the age where his voice is changing. Go make sense right mail if we. Make it fail. -gratulations calling. Thank you. Go into. Queenie's sure knew how to turn on the charm to get what he wanted. According was kind of a manipulator which you know. He asked me for twenty dollars turnaround and ask you for twenty dollars. And then he was asking council twenty dollars and. Sixty dollars sixty dollars how he would do it and I wish I could do it for him now. According was energetic and Al on I mean he was so handsome. He had this caramel color skin in the most incredible smile, he spent all his money, and I mean all his money on food clothes. haircuts shoes just came back from Wisconsin. She brought me to say good you. Google. After Courtney died I went through his phone. Look coining all those videos and photo and social media. It. Made me feel like he was still right there with me. Really we call them Gucci High School. I don't know if it was because he was fleet, or because he looked like Gucci May, but we. We call them Gucci. One of his friends was a kid named Chancellor Bennett. You might know this guy as chance the rapper. Manjit. Suspended chief and I. Fourteen four hundred eight minutes fans. Dan Hands. Minute that racket. Over Summer School. You know what I'm saying not to. And I hope I hope that doesn't have like a negative connotation and stuff, but like I mean I was in school. Everybody goes summer school, so yeah, he would freestyle with me. We're you know could get after after school and stuff and just be wrapping walking down the street and be boxing and stuff like that. According would always tell me mom. This guy is going to be huge. That was like a thing at the time like I was passing how CDs like I was Brandon CDs. And like stay out of Colombian, he'd be standing out there with me I like he had take CDs and from me and give them other people's stuff to. They went to Jones College prep. It's one of the top public schools Chicago. Coordinate played on the basketball team and he helped them win the city championship. O! When he was seventeen or eighteen, he got a tattoo of a basketball across his chess in a says ball to I fall. I've always hated tattoos because I'm a religious person and I believe tattoos are desecration of the body. When I first saw the tattoo I literally cried and I. Say you just want to hurt your Mama, don't you? The, he got more tattoos including one. That says Mama's boy. How do you like that? Corny got a partial scholarship to play ball in Indiana. But? We can only afford to help him so much, so he had to come back home after one semester he got a job as a janitor and a Dunkin donuts got to ready for work on my God. Put on shoes. Put on my shirt ready for work. He was wandering through life until a friend recruited him into the business. Call World Ventures. Cornelis jobless was sign members for discount vacations. All over the World Corny was determined to go to the top, and that's when I really show courtney turning into a man. That's my mom again. Because of it's positive mental attitude that he developed his change of thinking help. People treated him. He became more of a leader now in just one year, Courtney signed up so many people. The company helped him lease BMW as a bonus. Ventures, wings and wheels. Step one. Get your wings. Step to get your wheels. Horny asked me if I was signed for the car for him. And I told him no way if he wanted to get someone else to help him, that was on him, so he convinced his Frank Christian. Hernandes to cosign. For Courtney the BMW was validation. And, we all love car. His cousin, who's a rapper using his music video. Addicted Thirties. Castle. County. It was just like a typical rap video, sexy girls, dancing all around the guys and money and. Horn is in the video to out that don't. Count that. Horny was living the high life just a few months before he died, he went on a trip to Cancun. Hey. Done right now, blitzer NYC, did something different. Say Yes, I stay consistent. I worked hard I mean this was a trip of a lifetime. He was just like he was on top of the world. He did the Macarena in the hotel lobby. He was scuba diving. Jet Skiing. He was doing really really well getting close to move in my basement and moving in with some friends. No. An it career. At GD, it means owning the opportunity to play a crucial role in transforming how agencies operate, join Gd it for challenging and impactful work that advances your career apply now at Gd it dot com slash careers. Opportunity. After all you've been through the class of two thousand twenty deserves proper sendoff, which is why Iheartradio and Doritos brings you commencement the podcast, featuring speeches and dedications from icons. We admire most here from Halsey. Kids we've shown the world while we can be sold a lot of things we will never buy a dream and pit bull. You guys at generation, Stan don't you guys are generation. Make a difference. You Guys Generation Gold change the world, techy g John, Legend, cashew and Martinez Khalid and many many more all have something to say to you the amazing class of twenty twenty. Twenty choose firmly choose willfully and choose confidently. Listen to iheartradio new podcast commencement now on the iheartradio APP or wherever you get podcasts with a special Doritos Valedictorian episode where Doritos takes graduation speeches to another level by naming five Valedictorians giving them each fifty thousand dollars in tuition assistance and sharing their speeches with the world. You are the ones that's going to make a difference. Here's what I knew about the last day of my son's life. Corny helped a friend move a SOFA. He talked to my mom about become an in home caregiver. The application was due the next day. That day I remember I got my hair done. And that night I caught some of the Republican presidential debate. Look at those hands. Are they small? While I was watching that courtney was given a presentation for world ventures. Around Midnight Corny swung by pies on his favorite pizza place. It's a couple of blocks from a house and CICERO. Just outside of Chicago. He ran into his friend Chris the next day we were supposed to go on a little road trip. We're going to there for the weekend, so we were preparing everything. Courtney Shell Chris this book he was reading. It was called thinking grow rich. He was already on Chapter Three I. Always Tell People this story because fo weird, because he left the regular phone pylons and I didn't even get him my car yet. By. A car and I go but I stood outside the only man. That's crazy, you know. He hit the bones of the car like he's happy. He's reading the book. Corny really wasn't headed home. It turns out. He had this girlfriend a CO worker. He was dating. He was heading to see her. Played this nice so many times in my head. I wish I had taxed I'm like I usually would do to see when he'd be back home. Maybe then he would have just come back to the house. I don't know why I didn't check on him that night. I'm excited, man. Realize because you know that I'm glad highest form recreation before he drove into the city, Courtney posted on snapchat. He's in his car, wearing a red hoodie under his PICO. He looks so happy and hopefully. I can do arm. He's got to believe in myself. His name on snapchat was born leader thirty four. Thirty four was courtney's favorite number. And, the night he died was march fourth. Three four. Hour after he posted on Snapchat, my son was being rushed to the hospital. I am calling because I just received a patient here. Dory are hostile. Call the police and CICERO where I live. And what's in Shannon? His name is Courtney. Copeland, he, O P land. Want. Hostile. He was actually en route to the police station nearby because he had been shot, and then he came in by ambulance. I don't know if you want to tell her. What the nature of injuries yet? Probably Not China. Talk. A little after two o'clock in the morning. The CICERO police came back on our door. When I open the door, he acts me. Did I know according to Coppola? I was already thinking that this. Is. The police told us that Corny was in the hospital. In Chicago, and that's IT and at that point you remember you dropping to your knees here. Mama knew he did. He's gone. They just don't do they don't know this is shown did. I assume that it had to be some type of auto accident because Gordon was always known for texting and driving. I remember my husband Brent driving our families Illinois Masonic Hospital. My mom coordinate sisters. My, aunt, we were all there. We rolled in our town and country minivan, and it was in the middle of the night. I don't even recall any other cars being on the road. Right away. The staff wanted to take us to the family room. But. I knew I knew what the family room was. When they tell you that your kid is dead. And I didn't WANNA go. They sent in this nurse. Very kind nurse! She stayed with me. She held my hand to try to keep me calm. I had no idea then how important she will become to my investigation. That's when the doctor came out and told us the news. that. He had died from a gunshot wound and we were like well. Why why will you mean a gun side? Will Who Saddam? When the doctor said. My Courtney shot. That was an unbelievable. We didn't hear anything else. Everybody drops to four screaming yelling. Okay Oh no, no, no, that was the last thing that we would be. Courtney would be involved in any form shooting because he was not that type of individual okay, and he was a nun violent person. Who would you know? He would not be involved and anyone that would have guns. The doctor told us that when CORNU arrive. They opened up his chest to try to save him. I've been at the hospital for over an hour and I still hadn't seen my son. And you know as a mother. You won't have that confirmation that this is indeed your child. They told me I couldn't see him until detective got there. And I told them I said will tell you right now. If, I can't see my son. I'm GonNa tear this whole hospital up. They finally let us see Courtney. He thought hospital bed. In Trauma, unit. After a few moments. Acts everyone to leave. The head be with him. I had to be with myself. Began to touches. His body was still warm. Across his face kissed his forehead. Sorry I wasn't there for you. When you need to meet a most. And I walked out with room. Then, it really hit me. The coding was gone. I just collapsed. ooh! S- France and our extended family were pollen into the hospital, waiting room. I remember two detectives coming in. They were white in middle aged. And they told us what they knew. They said corning was shot in his car and drove himself to the police station. Corny jumped out of his car flagged down. For help. But the car was still moving. So, the officer told him to put it in Park. So corny back into the car and put the car in park. And then they said the according ran over to the officer again. And grabbed his arm, said I've shot before collapsing. Then came the moment when I thought something more then grief. I felt suspicious. See. The sector said they wanted to ask me some questions. And their first one. Their asked me of Courtney was the owner of the BMW. Remember when I told you that Courtney had to get a cosign for the car. KRISTA Hernandez. Christian's name was actually on the registration and not coordinates. Coordinates been stopped before because of this so when the police asked me if he was the real owner of the car. Started to think. Maybe this was a police. Stop Gone Wrong. You know like for Landau Casteel. UP IN MINNESOTA. Maybe, the police stopped him after running his place, and then a black man, driving a car registered in a Hispanics May as name. The first thing that coordinates friends did is went looking for clues. They went to Belmont Creggan the neighborhood where Courtney was shot. They saw skid marks and some broken glass on this corner near Catholic Church. They scooped up the glass and talk to a neighbor who says she heard gunshots. We put up reward posters all over the neighborhood. So we would would flyers. And we were on the radio. Anybody that can help us get answers. I offered a five thousand dollar reward. Then six thousand. Then sixty six hundred. In the in we put up ten thousand dollars. But we got no answers. We try to keep Courtney story alive in the news so here I am on a local show called Jamaica funk the mole, a little background of Courtney. What what would it courtney do? Quantity was a senior sales were up at world. Ventures travel industry, and he arrived in member of the of the Chicago area, so he wasn't just trying to solve this case. I was also fighting to protect his name. Police say Copeland was not a gang member. They can only guess right now. Why he was shot, he graduated at least that he wasn't a game member. Why was that even a question? I had to do everything I could to protect his image. When reporters asked to use photos of him I made sure he looked his best. Also just don't want the narrative to beat negative about Moss love. He was not that that. Fear okay, so you prefer. We used the picture of him in the talks. That's facebook page. Did this to us. You, turn yourself in. That you. Ask for forgiveness from God looking back at my face on TV that night, he di. Is Literally hard to believe. That was even me. Many. Many. Young. I remember being in so much pain, but I needed to find answers. That was the only way I knew how to keep going. A few people did come forward with tips. One Guy Actually told me he was driving by the police station and saw courtney. With cops just standing around him. This bystander basically told me when he looked at the scene. He felt that the police were doing something to him. And then when I began to press him. Trying to get more information and that's when he was like. You know I don't really want to get involved. You know you don't understand the police around here. They'll come after me and then he finally told me he was like look. I have children. Risk my life to basically tell you what I saw Then, there was a tow truck driver. He took a video. It's hard to make out. But it looks like coordinators laying on the ground outside the police station. The lights are flashing and no one is helping him. One of Courtney's friend, a world venture guy named June fifth got in touch with the toll driver history the Guy Torture says his theory was that the police did it. That was the first Mickey Mouse, minus what he's been saying since the beginning. What? The police told me is that they did everything they could to save him. But you know what? It just wasn't adding up. So, I, said to myself. I just got a bury my baby and lay him to rest. And then I'll find out what really happened. I needed some strength. So I turned according the only way I could any obstacle. You know that you're going through your life today. Understand that will never put you through anything that you cannot handle the reason why they call it a pass because he already went through, remember how i. told you that sense Courtney's death I go through his phone. Guess how he had me listed uh-huh with three exclamation points. As Oh my mom's calling. And you know what? He was right to be afraid. Because when I get onto something i. don't let up. And I'm putting the police on blast right now. I will find out the truth of what happened to my sons. And when I do, the whole, world will know it. So. No bad nut. Somebody is a CO production of the invisible institute. The inner South Topic Studios and iheartradio in association with Tender Foot TV. I'm Shapiro Wells. This podcast is produced by some flowers and Bill Healy Sarah. Guys is our story. Ellen Glover is our associate producer for the invisible institutes Jamie Calvin is executive producer for topic Studios Maria Zuckerman Christie, Grossman in lethal milad are executive producers special. Thanks to Lizzie Jacobs. For the intercept Roger. Hodge deputy editor is supervising producer sound design by Carl Scott Embark warshaw Michael Rayfield is mixed engineer. Our theme song everybody something is by chance. The rapper original music for the podcast by Nate Fox of social experiment and Eric Butler. Additional reporting by SAM. Secolo any win Kahari black bar. Saint Clair Henry. Adams Mathilde vo yet. Dana Roseau's Kelleher. Francis McDonald Diana Arc Margin Mattie. Anderson Andrew firestone and Orissa Taco. Translation support by Bennie Hernandez Combo an immigrant. Fact checking by wall are Jenny special thanks to Chris. Rasmussen Ben Epstein Matt Topic. David Brillo and Julie Wolf. We want to hear from you. Email us at info as somebody podcast, dot, com, or leave us a voicemail at seven, seven, three, two, seven, zero, zero one to one. To learn more about this case, and for links to additional materials go to our show page at somebody PODCASTS DOT com. You can also find a list of everyone we want to thank. So many people helped us along the way. Rene Bach was only nineteen years old when she moved from her small town in Virginia to eastern Uganda. In Two thousand, nine o'clock founded serving his children a feeding program for severely malnourished kids. The NGO quickly grew into an inpatient medical facility. The heroic image obscured a deadly truth. Rene Bach had no medical training. 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