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Police Officer Investigated for Mulitple Shootings

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 24, 2011 8:30PM

2010_07_20_CPD.jpg The cover story to yesterday's Tribune is about Chicago Police officer Gildardo Sierra, who's been involved in three shootings while patrolling Englewood and West Englewood this year: two of the shootings have been fatal.

The Tribune also has dashboard camera footage of the most recent shooting involving Sierra, a June incident in which he allegedly fired 16 shots at unarmed Flint Farmer. Seven of the shots hit Farmer; a Cook County deputy medical examiner said the three shots allegedly fired by Sierra were the ones that killed Farmer.

Sierra told investigators he believed Farmer was holding a gun and that his life was in danger. Even though he was unarmed (Farmer was holding a cell phone) The Police Department ruled Farmer's death as justified, as were Sierra's two previous shootings.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, however, said Sierra's history with a quick trigger raised questions about the Department's ability to investigate itself. Sierra's shootings are now being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority. the FBI is investigating the June shooting.

Police blogger Second City Cop took McCarthy's stance as an opportunity to call him names - "McTwoFaced" and "McTool" are particularly inspired - question why McCarthy is commenting on investigations in progress and even share video of muzzle flashes from other guns he found on YouTube to cast doubt as to whether Sierra even fired his gun in the dash cam video.

SCC also wrote this:

And even if it turns out that they were (muzzle flashes), the shooting may still be justified. We've seen numerous training videos where an armed subject on the ground can roll and fire while prone with deadly accuracy at approaching officers, which is why we stated the other day, the best way not to get into a situation is to listen and do exactly what the police are saying to do. No reaching for phones to call mamma, old girl, your buddy, a lawyer, especially in the dark and especially after you just finished beating your current flavor of the week and her child. They'll all be waiting for you after your prints clear and a Cook County judge I-bonds you for your twelfth domestic arrest.

Oh, and the other two shootings the officer was involved with and the Tribune uses to imply he might be "out of control?" Guns recovered from both offenders.

The Tribune isn't implying there are "out of control" cops in the Sierra article. What they're questioning is the Police Department's investigation of shootings involving their own. Was there a legitimate investigation into Sierra's shootings or is this a case of the "Blue Wall" being erected around a man with a badge? And what protocols are in place to ensure an officer involved in a shooting is able to handle his duties moving forward?

McCarthy raises some salient questions, whether SCC wishes to admit or no, regarding the stress levels police face on the streets. Especially high crime neighborhoods like Englewood patrolled by cops like Sierra that can be akin to war zones.