The Cop Who Fatally Shot Rekia Boyd Still Has Not Been Fired
Members of the Chicago Police Board at last night's meeting. (Photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist)
By Mae Rice and Aaron Cynic
Activists from Wednesday's protests packed the Chicago Police Department’s monthly board meeting, but their demands—that the board to fire the officers involved in the fatal shootings of Laquan McDonald and Rekia Boyd, and that the whole board resign—fell on deaf ears.
Community groups and activists have been packing the Chicago Police Department's headquarters on 35th Street and Michigan Avenue for months to demand it fire officer Dante Servin, the officer who shot and killed Rekia Boyd in 2012 in Douglas Park.
In April, three years after Rekia Boyd was shot, a judge threw out manslaughter and other charges against Servin. Both the Independent Police Review Authority and former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy recommended Servin be fired.
The Tribune did the same in an April editorial:
“A Cook County judge ruled that Detective Dante Servin couldn't be convicted of involuntary manslaughter because he should have been charged with the more serious crime of first-degree murder," the editorial said. "Prosecutors aimed too low, so not guilty.”
The board did not directly address Boyd’s case or McDonald's. Instead, the meeting introduced two new board members: interim Superintendent John Escalante and Sharon Fairley, the new head of IPRA. The board has said it is still making its decision on Servin.
"I want to assure the public that the process by which the Police Board reaches its ultimate decision with respect to the charges against Dante Servin, like in any case, will be transparent and will be public," Board President Lori Lightfoot said.
Roughly a dozen people signed up to speak to the board during the public commentary portion of the meeting. Many speakers demanded Servin be fired, the officers connected to the Laquan McDonald shooting be fired, and justice for Ronald Johnson. They also called out what they say is systemic racism within the police department.
"I'm deeply concerned about my neighbors when the people hired to protect us harm us,” said one speaker, who was nearly removed from the room after being told by the board chair she had exceeded her time allotted to speak. "If accusations of racism concern you, I think you would be working actively to develop an anti-racist organization culture."
Another speaker greeted the board by saying "good evening, unelected board." Still another called for the entire body to step down, which elicited cheers and chants from the crowd for the same.