The family of Rekia Boyd has suffered another tragedy as the cop who shot her in the back of the head gets to walk out of court a free man.
In 2012 off-duty Chicago Police Officer Dante Servin decided to confront a group of young Black people for making “too much noise.” The group did not take kindly to Servin’s provocation and a heated exchange took place. By all accounts the group began to walk away when Servin claims he saw a gun pointed at him, it turned out that the supposed gun was a cellphone. But in a familiar refrain being echoed by police officers who shoot unarmed Black people he claimed he “was in fear for his life.” So what did the highly decorated police officer do? Simple, while the group had their backs turned, Servin fired five shots over his shoulder into the group, hitting Boyd in the back of the head and killing her.
For the average person, the facts of the case would seem to indicate that Servin acted in an irresponsible and reckless manner. In fact, the city of Chicago paid the family close to $4.5 million in 2013 to settle a police misconduct and wrongful death lawsuit. So when Servin finally went to trial last week for involuntary manslaughter and other charges, the family was hopeful to finally be able to close a difficult and painful chapter in their lives. Instead they were left reeling in pain and a new wave of grief as Servin was found not guilty of the charges on Monday. The judge ruled that Servin did not engage in reckless conduct, which was a prerequisite of the involuntary manslaughter charges, and to the outrage of the family, dismissed the case against Servin. Judge Dennis Porter stated, “Simply put, the evidence presented in this case does not support the charges on which the defendant was indicted and tried. There being no evidence of recklessness as a matter of law, there is no evidence to which the state could sustain its burden of proof as to the fourth element of the charge of involuntary manslaughter. Therefore, there is a finding of not guilty on all counts and the defendant is discharged.”
With those words Servin left court a free man with the family of Boyd following him out of the courtroom yelling murderer. Servin still maintained his innocence and spoke to the media and stated, “I think it was a mistake for the state’s attorney to charge me, but I also explained to the family that if this is what they needed for closure — for me to be charged — I hope they got what they were looking for.”
So once again a killer cop walks free, possibly to kill again. Servin has been stripped of his police powers and is awaiting a decision by the Independent Police Review Authority to see if he will be reinstated.