A Chicago police officer has been charged more than a year after shooting a man while on duty at a CTA Red Line station in an incident that was captured on cell phone video and sparked multiple investigations.
Officer Melvina Bogard, 32, was charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and official misconduct, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx's office said Thursday.
Bogard was charged after the State's Attorney's office's Law Enforcement Accountability Division conducted a review of the shooting that took place on Feb. 28, 2020.
Bogard shot 34-year-old Ariel Roman on a platform at the Grand station, one of the city’s busiest train stops.
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The incident began just after 4 p.m. when Bogard and her partner Bernard Butler followed Roman off the train. Chicago police said Roman was walking in between train cars while carrying cocaine and an illegal amount of marijuana.
Videos released by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability two months after the shooting (which can be viewed here) show that the pair tried to take Roman into custody at the foot of the stairs that lead up to the station’s main concourse. A struggle ensued, and Roman was able to get to his feet after officers used their pepper spray. Video footage also shows two deployed stun guns near the scene.
The video shows Bogard firing a shot at Roman after Butler repeatedly tells her to shoot. Roman runs up the stairs and Bogard fires again. Roman was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to his hip and buttocks.
Civil rights attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who represents Roman, said at the time that his client’s life had “changed forever” as a result of the incident.
“He has a bullet lodged in his lower back next to his cystic nerve, and he had another bullet go through his abdomen,” Stroth said. “He had additional surgeries to his intestines.”
After the shooting, Roman was hit with resisting arrest and narcotics charges but then-interim CPD Supt. Charlie Beck asked the state’s attorney’s office to drop them.
Butler and Bogard were stripped of their police powers as COPA investigates.
Federal authorities opened a criminal investigation into the shooting, with Roman ordered to appear before a federal grand jury earlier this year and asked to provide medical records that stemmed from the shooting, according to a subpoena obtained by the Sun-Times.
A letter signed by John Lausch, Chicago’s top federal prosecutor, noted those records were being sought “pursuant to an official criminal investigation,” the Sun-Times reported.
Bogard surrendered to investigators Thursday morning and was scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing at 12 p.m. Thursday, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office said.