CHICAGO (CBS) — A longtime criminal defense attorney said Monday’s acquittal of a Chicago police officer in the off-duty shooting of an unarmed woman appears to be the result of prosecutors giving the officer a break.
Cook County Judge Dennis Porter ruled prosecutors failed to prove Officer Dante Servin was acting recklessly when he fired into a crowd three years ago, killing 22-year-old Rekia Boyd. He acquitted Servin of all charges without waiting for the defense to present its case.
A colleague of Porter’s, a fellow judge, said there is no question in his mind Porter’s decision was legally correct. Porter appeared to have a look of disgust on his face as he announced Servin’s acquittal.
“The evidence presented in this case does not support the charges on which the defendant was indicted and tried,” Porter said from the bench. “The crime, if any there be, is first-degree murder.”
Servin said Illinois courts long have held, if a person aims a gun at someone else and fires, it is an intentional act, not a reckless one, even if the bullet strikes someone other than the intended victim.
Criminal defense attorney Bruce Mosbacher, who was not involved in the Servin case, said it was very unusual Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and not first-degree murder.
“The State’s Attorney of Cook County did something very unusual, which is to charge an individual who shot a gun into a crowd with something less than first-degree murder. I haven’t seen that happen,” he said. “That’s very disturbing here, and it should be disturbing, and I can’t say that they were giving this officer a break, but it certainly looks like it.”