With so much attention being paid to the murder of Trayvon Martin, the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd has largely flown under the national radar, but Chicagoans are keeping the memory of the local native and the fight for justice in her case alive.
On Tuesday, 200 or so protestors rallied outside the home of the officer who shot and killed Rekia last Wednesday. The shooting occurred around 1 am when the off-duty Chicago detective stopped to look into a “disturbance” that reportedly involved a group of people gathering near Douglas Park. Police say after the detective stopped and announced his office, a man named Antonio Cross allegedly advanced toward his car with a gun in hand. The officer opened fire from his car, which struck Antonio in the hand but hit Rekia, who was standing nearby, in the head.
Rekia was transported to the hospital in critical condition and died the next day. Meanwhile, Antonio Cross was charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault since no weapon was recovered from the scene of the incident. Still, police maintain that he was armed and say the shooting was justified, admitting that Rekia was an innocent bystander in the situation. Family members told NBC Chicago no one pulled a gun on the officer and that Antonio was holding a cell phone. He told ABC news the same:
“I want people to know I didn’t have no gun. She didn’t have no gun. I want people to know that girl was killed for nothing.”
The officer, who lives on the same block where the shooting occurred, has not commented on the incident or Tuesday’s protest. The Independent Police Review Authority is currently investigating the killing but Ald. Michael Chandler says investigators aren’t doing enough, including ignoring eye witnesses who reportedly overheard the officer tell a crowd “What do I have to do around here to get some peace, quiet and respect? Shoot someone?” Michael Chandler told WBEZ:
“A young person’s life [has been] taken away and there is not one person that has been out on these streets to canvass the area to talk to any of these witnesses.”
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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