All Articles Tagged "Rekia Boyd"
Family of Unarmed Chicago Woman Fatally Shot By Off-Duty Cop Could Receive $4.5 Million In Settlement
Last March, 22-year-old Rekia Boyd was fatally shot in the back of the head after a gun was fired by an off-duty Chicago police officer. Detective Dante Servin is said to have opened fire on an unarmed crowded following his confrontation with Boyd’s friend. Now, her family is slated to receive a hefty payout from the city, reports the Northwest Herald.
Following Rekia’s death, her family filed a police conduct lawsuit against the city and according to reports, The City Council Finance Committee met today to consider paying a proposed $4.5 million settlement to the deceased woman’s family. If the settlement is approved, along with a few other settlements that are scheduled to be reviewed today, the city’s police misconduct payout for the year thus far, would add up to a grand total of $44 million, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“The family and the city were interested in getting this case resolved without years of litigation. The city recognized they had significant issues with this case. Ultimately, justice would have been delayed,” revealed the Boyd family’s attorney, Melvin Brooks.
According to the lawsuit filed by Boyd’s family, on March 21st, Rekia and a group of friends were walking in an alley near Servin’s home. Servin got into an argument with the group and police alleged that Cross actually opened fire on Servin, and a bullet bounced from his hand and struck Rekia in the head. That claim was eventually disaffirmed when it was revealed that officers did not find a gun at the scene of the crime. Some reports suggest that Cross was simply reaching for his cellular phone and Servin mistook it for a gun. Brooks says that Servin fired five shots during the incident and was the only person to fire a weapon.
“Antonio didn’t know he was a cop. All witnesses denied hearing Servin (say) … he was working within the scope of his employment,” said the family’s attorney.
In January, the Independent Police Review told ABC that they are investigating the case and that they’ve placed Servin on administrative duty.
Rekia’s brother, Martinez Sutton revealed that Servin is extremely apologetic and approached him two months following his sister’s death, saying he was sorry and asking for a hug.
“As he hugged me, he said, ‘I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for that to happen. It shouldn’t have been your sister that died. I didn’t mean to shoot her.’ He was telling me how sorry he is and how apologetic he is. He said we deserve the right to know what happened,” Sutton told ABC.
While it certainly will not bring Rekia back, hopefully the settlement gives the Boyd family some form of closure.
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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