CHICAGO (CBS) –A Chicago police officer accused of shooting his friend in the head and lying about it cannot be fired, according to documents obtained by the CBS 2 Investigators.
A report by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) found that Officer Patrick Kelly likely shot his friend Michael LaPorta after a night of drinking. COPA recommended Officer Patrick Kelly be fired.
A December 2018, response from Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says, “Officer Kelly and the Department settled and resolved all issues regarding the allegations arising from the shooting of [Michael LaPorta] … and any further discipline is now barred by the prohibition against double punishment.
“As such the Department concurs with the factual findings with respect to the alleged conduct, but does not concur with COPA’s recommended penalty of separation.”
At the time of the shooting, Kelly had been given a 60-day suspension related to alcohol issues from that night.
It has been a long fight for justice for Michael LaPorta, who was shot in the head almost 10 years ago. Kelly reported it as a suicide attempt, and that’s how police investigated.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini has been investigating this case for years, and was the first to report on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s finding that it was actually Kelly who shot LaPorta, and then tried to cover it up.
Kelly was pulled to work on desk duty in 2017, but he has still been paid as an officer all along.
Kelly and LaPorta had been out drinking the night LaPorta suffered the near-fatal wound.
CBS 2 obtained a 74-page report, in which COPA says evidence showed Kelly pulled the trigger and then “gave false statements” to detectives investigating the shooting – trying to make it look like a suicide attempt. The report was finalized at the end of June.
The report said on Jan. 12, 2010, police were called to Officer Kelly’s home and found LaPorta – whose name is redacted in the report – with a gunshot wound to the head.
Kelly claimed LaPorta had shot himself with the officer’s gun in a suicide attempt.
LaPorta suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent two months in the hospital and two more at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He was unable to speak and thus could not provide an account of what happened until he regained consciousness, the report said.
However, today’s developments are not the end of this case. CPD is expected to make a final decision soon.