The first time in years a trial has come to an abrupt and stunning end in Chicago. Cook County, Judge Dennis Porter acquitted a veteran cop, Dante Servin for the fatal off-duty shooting of Rekia Boyd. The acquittal was granted on a legal fine point, ruling prosecutors failed to prove the act was reckless.
Illinois law states that anytime an individual points a gun at a victim and shoots, it is considered an intentional act- not a reckless one. Judge Porter all but said Servin should have been charged with murder, not involuntary manslaughter . Servin cannot be retried on a murder charge as he is protected by double jeopardy .
The scene outside the courtroom can only be called chaotic. Boyd’s brother had to be hauled away by sheriff’s deputies after he made an angry outburst and what looked like a threatening move towards Servin. Christian Broda has learned that a crowd of more than 40 supporters of Boyd’s family also gathered as Servin was led from the court shouting, ‘murderer’ and ‘shame on you’ and throwing debris at the officer.
Prosecutors defended their decision to charge Servin with involuntary mans laughter and they are extremely disappointed in the judge’s ruling. Charges were filed in good faith after the case was carefully analyzed. Servin had allegedly acted recklessly when in March 2012 he fired five shots over his shoulder in the direction of four people who had their backs to him in a dark alley. Sevin claimed he was, ‘in fear of his life’.
George Mitchell, head of the Illinois NAACP says this statement has got to stop. He stated it is becoming too common of a justification by police involved in shootings. He went on to say if it doesn’t stop now, the police and the community are going to be at odds completely.
Servin still faces potential disciplinary action by the Police Review Authority. The process to return him to work will begin immediately. Servin has been on paid desk duty since he was charged on this matter.