In March 2012, 22-year-old Rekia Boyd was walking to a store with three friends near Douglas Park in Chicago, when they were confronted by Officer Dante Servin, who was off-duty, and was told to keep the noise down. After an exchange of words, Servin fired five shots over his shoulder while sitting in his car. One of those shots hit Boyd in the head, killing her.
Three years later, after a four day trial, a judge found Servin not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
The judge ruled there was no evidence of reckless conduct in the case, which would have been required for the involuntary manslaughter charge and others, and dismissed the charges.
“Simply put, the evidence presented in this case does not support the charges on which the defendant was indicted and tried. There being no evidence of recklessness as a matter of law, there is no evidence to which the state could sustain its burden of proof as to the fourth element of the charge of involuntary manslaughter,” Judge Dennis Porter said. “Therefore, there is a finding of not guilty on all counts and the defendant is discharged.”
When the verdict was announced, Boyd’s family erupted in shouts and tears. Martinez Sutton, Boyd’s brother, yelled “that man killed my sister”. He was escorted out of the courtroom, while Servin sat there. Once Servin made his way out of the courtroom, people shouted at he “murderer”.
“I think it was a mistake for the state’s attorney to charge me, but I also explained to the family that if this is what they needed for closure – for me to be charged – I hope they got what they were looking for,” Servin said.
He sounds like a total asshole. Boyd’s mother talked to the press after the hearing.
“I am Rekia Boyd’s mom. They just found this man not guilty on all counts, and he blew my daughter’s brains out in the alley,” said Angela Helton.
“I will never be able to call Rekia again. I will never be able to say ‘Rekia, can you come over and do this?’ I will never be able to do that,” Helton said.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said Monday in a written statement: “I am extremely disappointed by the Judge’s ruling. The State’s Attorney’s Office brought charges in this case in good faith and only after a very careful legal analysis of the evidence as well as the specific circumstances of this crime.”
Chicago police said Monday night that Servin will remain stripped of his police powers until the Independent Police Review Authority finishes their investigation.