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Activists Demand Chicago Police Fire The Cop Who Killed Rekia Boyd

By aaroncynic in News on Sep 18, 2015 2:35PM

More than 200 people turned up to the Chicago Police Department’s monthly board hearing last night to demand that it fire officer Dante Servin, who shot and killed Rekia Boyd in 2012 in Douglas Park.

On Wednesday, the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency charged with investigating police shootings and other claims of police brutality, recommended Servin be fired, citing several department policies he violated, including its deadly force policy for firing into a crowd and making inconsistent statements to detectives and the State’s Attorney’s office. On the night of Boyd’s death, Servin had fired several shots from an unregistered weapon over his shoulder into a crowd, during an altercation with a group Boyd was part of in the park. The officer had said one of her companions had a weapon, but it turned out to be a cell phone.

In April, a judge threw out charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct, and reckless discharge of a weapon, saying at the time that the prosecution couldn’t prove “recklessness” because his conduct was “beyond reckless.”

Boyd’s brother, Martinez Sutton, thanked the IPRA for recommending Servin be fired but said he felt “uneasy” about what Superintendent Garry McCarthy might do.

“That’s been one of the hardest things to try to live with, that he said my sister’s death was ‘justified,’” Sutton told the board. IPRA’s recommendation is rare —in the near 400 civilian shootings it’s investigated since 2007, Servin is only the second officer it has recommended firing. McCarthy now has 90 days to decide whether or not he agrees with that recommendation.

“It tells you a lot about what kind of society we live in when the police superintendent considers it a public safety hazard to indict a cop who murdered an unarmed woman,” said one man to the board.

After Servin was acquitted of criminal charges in April, McCarthy told reporters:

“My concern was really when an officer gets themselves in a position where they have a fear that deadly physical force is to be used against them, that officer can’t hesitate. It provides a safety hazard for the officer.”

Activists also demanded Servin, who has been on desk duty since Boyd’s death, be stripped of his pension, and also worried about the message it sends if he is allowed to stay with the force. “If we continue to allow Dante Servin’s all over this country to keep their jobs, then we’re going to see more Rekia Boyd’s,” said another speaker.

After the board meeting, activists marched from police headquarters marched to Dyett High School to show solidarity with the hunger strikers who for more than a month have not eaten solid foods to demand Chicago Public Schools adopt their plan to turn it into a “global leadership and green technology school.” Jitu Brown, one of the strikers, thanked the group for the show of support.

“Never let your spirit get gray,” Brown told the crowd assembled in the intersection in front of the school. “Whenever you see young people ready to fight back, that’s God smiling on us.”