CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the men charged in the killing of off-duty Chicago Police Officer John Rivera has been found guilty.
Jovan Battle, 32, was convicted by a jury on all counts, including first-degree murder. Battle and co-defendant Menelik Jackson were also charged with attempted murder.
Multiple published reports said Battle raised his middle finger at prosecutors the court gallery, and cursed at everyone before being led out.
Battle represented himself at trial, published reports said.
Police said Battle was standing next to Jackson when Jackson fired more than 20 shots into a car full of people. Rivera and three others were in that car.
Rivera was fatally shot in the back, trying to shield his girlfriend from bullets.
Police said Jackson and another man got into a fight with a group of Hispanic men on a party bus at the flagship McDonald’s restaurant at 600 N. Clark St. about an hour before the shooting. Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples said Jackson was caught on video running from the McDonald’s, and coming back after the party bus had left. The other man involved in the fight was not in custody Monday morning, but police said they know who they are looking for.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said in March Jackson and Battle then started searching the area for any Hispanic person they could find. He said at the time that they could face additional hate crime charges as a result.
“In an act of cowardice, Mr. Jackson went to get a gun to settle this petty dispute, which resulted in him murdering the first Hispanic man that he came in contact with,” Johnson said.
An hour later, around 3:20 a.m., Rivera, another off-duty officer, a male friend, and Rivera’s girlfriend all were leaving the Stout Barrel House & Pizza, less than a block away from the McDonald’s, and got into Rivera’s car, police said. A short time later, Jackson and Battle walked up, and Jackson opened fire with a .40 caliber handgun, killing Rivera, and wounding a male friend in the rear passenger’s seat, police said.
Jackson, the alleged gunman, also was charged with one count of resisting arrest for fighting with officers when he was taken into custody.
A third man, Jaquan Washington, was also later charged in the case. Jackson and Washington have yet to go to trial.