Above Photo: Chicago Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy. Viewminder.
Police chief Garry McCarthy reversed course on the subject of Dante Servin—the Chicago Police officer who shot and killed a 22-year-old woman on the West Side in 2012 and was acquitted of charges against him earlier this year—Monday night, saying he now believes Servin should be fired over the off-duty shooting.
“After considerable deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that Officer Dante Servin showed incredibly poor judgement in his efforts to intervene in a low-level dispute while off-duty,” McCarthy said in a statement, the Sun-Times is reporting. “In the end, CPD has rules that we all must live by. Officer Servin violated those rules and he’s going to be held accountable for that.”
McCarthy is now sending charges justifying Servin’s termination from the police force to the Chicago Police Board, according to the Sun-Times, less than a year after the police chief said Servin should never have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for 22-year-old Rekia Boyd’s death in the first place. The city’s Independent Police Review Authority, IRPA,suggested Servin be fired earlier this fall.
McCarthy’s surprise announcement is coming at a pivotal time for Chicago’s police force. The city was recently ordered by a court to release a dash cam video within the next two days that depicts another police shooting case; Officer Jason Van Dyke has been accused of fatally shooting a unarmed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014. Those who have seen the video say it is incredibly disturbing, and anonymous sources are already telling news outlets that Van Dyke is going to face murder charges.
The details of Boyd’s shooting death have been documented in news reports and court and police documents since March 22, 2012, when an off-duty Servin got into an argument with a group of people in Douglas Park, said he saw a man pull a gun, and fired over his shoulder at the group, fatally striking Boyd in the head. That supposed gun he saw turned out to be a cell phone.
Servin was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter earlier this year, but he remains the subject of protests and anti-police violence rallies around Chicago. More than 200 people turned up to the police department’s September board hearing to demand that it fire officer Servin.
The city settled a wrongful-death lawsuit in the case for $4.5 million.