CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge has cleared a Chicago police officer of all charges in the March 2012 shooting death of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd three years ago following a confrontation between the off-duty cop and a group of people.
Officer Dante Servin was on trial for involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct.
In a directed verdict Monday, Cook County Judge Dennis Porter acquitted Servin of all charges Monday afternoon. He said Servin’s actions were “beyond reckless,” but added prosecutors did not prove their case. The defense team didn’t even have to call a witness.
“The evidence presented in this case does not support the charges on which the defendant was indicted and tried,” Porter said from the bench.
His ruling prompted an emotional outburst from Boyd’s family, and at least one shouting relative was restrained by courtroom deputies after Servin was acquitted.
Martinez Sutton, Boyd’s brother, was among family members who expressed outrage outside court.
“That’s a slap in the face,” he said of the acquittal. Protesters later held a demonstration and march.
Boyd and a group were hanging out at Douglas Park when Servin, who lives in the area, allegedly drove by, got in to a shouting match with a man in the group then fired a gun multiple times, striking Boyd in the head. Also shot was 39-year-old Antonio Cross.
Servin was jeered by a hostile crowd as he walked out of court a free man Monday. He expressed sympathy for Boyd’s family members.
“My family’s praying for them, and we will continue to pray for them – for their loss,” he told reporters.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, whose office brought charges against Servin, expressed disappointment in the judge’s decision.
“I believe that my office had provided sufficient evidence before the court to not only demonstrate, but also to prove, that Officer Servin’s conduct was clearly reckless in the senseless fatal shooting of Rekia Boyd,” Alvarez said in prepared statement. “Justice was denied today for Rekia Boyd and her family and I extend my deepest sympathies as they struggle to come to terms with this unexpected decision.”
Servin said he expects to resume working for the Chicago Police Department.