Anger over US cop's manslaughter aqcuittal

2015-04-22 11:56
Chicago police Detective Dante Servin. (John J Kim, Chicago Tribune via AP)

Chicago police Detective Dante Servin. (John J Kim, Chicago Tribune via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Chicago - A judge's surprise acquittal of an off-duty Chicago police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed woman set off protests for a second day on Tuesday.

That the officer shot Rekia Boyd, 22, was never in dispute. But the judge said he was bound to find detective Dante Servin not guilty of involuntary manslaughter - because manslaughter requires evidence of "recklessness," while the judge described the act of shooting as "intentional”.

"It is intentional and the crime, if any there be, is first-degree murder," Judge Dennis Porter said in his seven-page ruling Monday.

Several dozen demonstrators gathered in downtown Chicago's Daley Plaza on Tuesday, some holding signs with a picture of Boyd, to voice disdain for the decision by Porter and for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

"Anita has to go," activist William Calloway said. "We have to band together and make a conscious decision to whom we have to pick to not only represent the police officers, but for African-Americans and minorities across this city."

Boyd had been walking to a store with three friends in March 2012 when Servin, upset over noise, asked them to quiet down. Servin says he fired because he believed another person in the group was moving toward him with a gun, though police found only a cellphone.

Prosecutors said Servin fired five shots over his shoulder from inside his car at the group, who all had their backs to him in an alley. Boyd was struck in the head and one other person was grazed by a bullet.

The city settled a wrongful-death lawsuit with Boyd's family for $4.5m in 2013. A few months later, the Cook County state's attorney's office charged Servin with involuntary manslaughter.

Intentional, not reckless

But after a four-day bench trial, Porter ruled that prosecutors failed to prove Servin acted recklessly, in the precise legal sense of the word. He said Illinois courts have consistently held that the act of pointing a gun and firing is an intentional act, not a reckless one.

Alvarez disagreed and said in a statement that she was "extremely disappointed."

"The state's attorney's office brought charges in this case in good faith and only after a very careful legal analysis of the evidence as well as the specific circumstances of this crime," Alvarez said.

Servin told reporters he had no regrets, though he said his "heart goes out to the family."

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.