Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) yesterday recommended the police department fire an officer who killed an unarmed black woman by shooting her in the back of the head.
Scott Ando, IPRA’s chief administrator, said Detective Dante Servin, who was off-duty, violated department policy by firing the gun into a group of people, killing Rekia Boyd, 22, on March 21, 2012.
Servin fired five shots from his unregistered 9 mm semiautomatic at four people whose backs were turned to him as they walked down an alley. He also wounded Boyd’s friend Antonio Cross in the hand. Servin fired the shots over his shoulder while sitting in his car.
He claimed that someone he mistook holding a mobile phone was holding a gun and had fired. The IPRA also said Servin failed to certify the weapon with the department and that he gave inconsistent statements to Chicago police, Cook County prosecutors and about what occurred.
“As a result, I recommend that Detective Servin be separated from the Chicago Police Department,” Ando said in a prepared statement. Garry McCarthy, Chicago’s police superintendent, has 90 days to decide if he agrees with IPRA, which investigates the most-serious allegations against the police.
In November 2013, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter in Boyd’s shooting death, but Cook County Judge Dennis Porter issued a directed verdict on April 20th, clearing Servin of all charges.
His acquittal sparked angry allegations that Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez deliberately undercharged Servin, knowing the charges would be dropped. Servin is a white Hispanic.
Prosecutors charged Cross with aggravated assault, but the charges were later dropped. The City of Chicago agreed to pay Boyd’s estate $4.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. Servin has been assigned to desk duty since Boyd’s death.