CHICAGO (CBS) — Dante Servin, the Chicago police officer acquitted of criminal charges in the shooting death of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, has resigned his position just days before a disciplinary hearing that could have resulted in his dismissal.
The Independent Police Review Authority recommended Servin be fired in September, five months after he was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct, and reckless discharge of a firearm for fatally shooting Boyd, an innocent woman, in 2012.
Boyd and a group of people were hanging out in Douglas Park in March 2012 when Servin, angry about noise they were making, got into a shouting match with a man in the group. Prosecutors have said Servin, who was off-duty at the time, fired five shots over his shoulder from inside his car, striking Boyd in the head, and grazing another person in the group.
Servin has said he opened fire because he thought he saw someone coming at him with a gun, although investigators found only a cellphone at the scene.
Former Police Supt. Garry McCarthy moved to fire Servin last November – just one day before Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald – after previously denouncing the criminal case against the officer as “a safety hazard.” McCarthy had said he was worried the charges might cause other officers to hesitate before opening fire when they are in a life-threatening situation.
The Chicago Police Board, which has the final say in disciplinary action against police officers, said Servin’s decision to retire comes two days before an evidentiary hearing on misconduct charges against him. Since he resigned, the board has canceled that hearing.
“It is the Board’s understanding that given the resignation, counsel for the Superintendent will follow normal procedure and file a motion with the Board seeking to withdraw all charges against Servin without prejudice. The Board will then take that motion under advisement and take action at its regular monthly public meeting on Thursday, May 19th,” Police Board executive director Max Carponi said in a written statement.