The Independent Police Review Authority, the Chicago agency responsible for investigating allegations of police misconduct, has recommended that Chicago Police Officer Dante Servin be fired for the fatal off-duty shooting of an unarmed 22-year-old woman.
Servin, who shot Rekia Boyd, was acquitted by a judge earlier this year of charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Earlier this month, IPRA Chief Administrator Scott Ando said the he would make “every effort possible” to have the agency’s decision on the shooting completed by Thursday.
On Wednesday, the agency recommended Servin be fired, finding the shooting was outside the department's use of deadly force policy.
"IPRA sustained several allegations against Detective Servin, which included the violation of CPD's Deadly Force policy by discharging a firearm into a crowd, striking Rekia Boyd, an innocent bystander; failing to qualify with the weapon he discharged on the night of the incident in violation of CPD policy; and inattention to duty for making inconsistent statements in his various accounts of the incident to detectives, the State's Attorney’s Office and IPRA," Ando said in a statement. "As a result, I recommended that Detective Servin be separated from the Chicago Police Department."
Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy will now determine if Servin will remain on the force.
The Chicago Police Department said in a statement that it takes the recommendation “extremely seriously” and “will carefully review the matter.”
Servin's attorney, Darren O'Brien, called the recommendation "completely unjustified," stating that Servin "is recommended to be fired for defending himself."
"The evidence is that Dante Servin only fired at one person, the person who attacked him," O'Brien said. "The tragedy is that Ms. Boyd is in the line of fire. Certainly shots were never fired into a crowd."
Boyd was shot while walking to a store with three friends in March 2012. Serving, upset over, allegedly asked the group to quiet down and opened fire because he believed another person in the group was moving toward him with a gun, though police found only a cellphone.
Prosecutors said Servin fired five shots over his shoulder from inside his car at the group, who all had their backs to him in an alley. Boyd was struck in the head and one other person was grazed by a bullet.
The city settled a wrongful-death lawsuit with Boyd's family for $4.5 million in 2013. A few months later, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office charged Servin with involuntary manslaughter.
But after a four-day bench trial, a judge ruled that prosecutors failed to prove Servin acted recklessly, in the precise legal sense of the word. He said Illinois courts have consistently held that the act of pointing a gun and firing is an intentional act, not a reckless one.
Servin told reporters after the decision he had no regrets, though he said his "heart goes out to the family."
"Any police officer, especially, would have reacted in the exact same manner that I reacted, and I'm glad to be alive. I saved my life that night," Servin said.