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Trial Nears For White Chicago Police Officer Who Killed Black Woman

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 03 Dec 2014

By Fiona OrtizCHICAGO (Reuters) - A judge is expected to set on Wednesday a trial date for a white Chicago police officer who shot and killed a young black woman in 2012, in a case that has gained notoriety in the national uproar in recent months over policing and race. Dante Servin is the first Chicago police officer in 17 years to face criminal charges over a shooting death. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other felony offenses in connection with the off-duty shooting of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd. Chicago police kill an average of more than one person every month, about 100 people in the six years from 2008 to 2013. An independent review board investigates every shooting, and it has found almost every single one justified.According to prosecutors, Servin was off-duty and in plain clothes when he called 911 late on March 20, 2012 to report a large, loud party in a park near his home. After midnight, on March 21, he left his home to get food. He was carrying an unregistered Glock semi-automatic on his hip, according to the indictment.Servin got into an argument with a group of young people who had left the park. He shot at them from his car, according to prosecutors. Boyd died the next day from her injuries.If convicted, Servin faces a sentence ranging from probation to between 3 and 5 years in prison.Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Porter is hearing the criminal case, which follows a $4.5 million settlement paid by the City of Chicago to resolve a civil lawsuit filed by Boyd's family.There has been heightened interest in the Boyd case after the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white police officer in August, which has set off a national debate about policing. Her name is called out at protest marches around the country."I believe the Ferguson shooting has brought awareness and hopefully it helps the case. It will be hurtful if they let this cop go. About 70-80 percent of these shootings don't make any sense at all," Boyd's brother, Martinez Sutton, told Reuters.The last time a Chicago police officer was convicted in a killing was in 1997. Gregory Becker, who had shot dead a homeless man, served nearly four years in prison.(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)Join the conversation about this story
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