Chicago Police Officer Charged in Fatal Off-Duty Shooting
A Chicago veteran cop has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and other felony offenses involving a fatal off-duty shooting in 2012. It has been formally arranged to pay the victim’s estate a total of $4.5 million to settle the wrongful-death lawsuit.
Dante Servin, 45, is a Chicago police officer responsible for the reckless fatal shooting of the 22-year-old south suburban woman, Rekia Boyd. The law enforcer was charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, and Reckless Conduct after he opened fire on Boyd’s group of friends who were walking near Douglas Park, and thereby shooting her dead in the early morning hours of March 21, 2012.
The following charges were announced by the Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez on November 25, 2013, ensuing from two separate and lengthy investigations accomplished by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Independent Police Review Authority.
Servin was previously a detective of the state since 1991, before becoming a full-time police officer. He resides near the vicinity of Douglas Park, where the shooting occurred on March 20, 2012, at approximately 11:45 pm. The officer was reportedly off-duty, in plain clothes, and on his way home, when he caught sight of a crowd of people formed around Douglas Park and was said to call 911 to complain about the “…huge party, drinking, fighting, smoking drugs.” The call was made, presumably, because “there are 200 to 300 people, and I’m [Servin] afraid that something bad is going to happen.”
Prosecutors noted that at approximately 1 am, an hour and 15 minutes after his initial call, Servin went out to ‘get something to eat,’ carrying around an unregistered, fully loaded Glock 9mm semi-automatic in a holster on his right hip. A few minutes later, Boyd and three of her friends encountered the officer in an alley near 15th place. It was reported that Servin was driving by with his window open and slowed down as he approached the group and urged them to be quiet; however, a male member of the squad, Antonio Cross, had shouted back at Servin and waved his cell phone to the officer’s face.
The next occurrence involved Servin shooting five rounds over his shoulder in the direction of the group, having a bullet strike the back of Boyd, and another bullet grazing the right palm of the aforementioned male friend of Boyd. At 1:05 am, Servin called 911 to report the shooting after leaving the scene. The following day, the woman who was shot by the officer was declared dead in Mount Sinai Hospital after sustaining injuries.
State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has commented that “it is a sad and difficult day for law enforcement when an incident such as this occurs, and criminal charges are warranted. Nevertheless, this defendant’s reckless decisions and conduct in opening fire in an occupied alleyway caused the violent death of an innocent woman whose life was cut far too short by this senseless tragedy.” Moreover, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez stated that “the state’s attorney’s office brought charges in this case in good faith and only after careful legal analysis of the evidence as well as the specific circumstances of this crime.”
With the provided criminal documents containing allegations that are not evidence of guilt, the public is reminded that the defendant shall be presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.