Dante Servin is the Chicago police officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of unarmed 22-year-old woman Rekia Boyd. He is now headed to trial after prosecutors claimed he recklessly opened fire over his shoulder at a group of people on March 21, 2012. Boyd was among the crowd and was fatally struck with one of Servin’s bullets. The trial is set to begin on April 9 after being first postponed in October of 2014.
Along with involuntary manslaughter, Servin has been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct. Sounds like the justice system is working efficiently and swiftly as this is the first time in more than 15 years that a police officer in Chicago who fatally shoots someone, has seen charges. Servin has also been stripped of his powers as an officer of the law and he was placed on paid desk duty leave.
Boyd’s grieving family filed a $4.5 million dollar wrongful-death suit, to which the city of Chicago paid out. While this is a handsome sum, it doesn’t bring Rekia back and her family is still in mourning and seeking answers for her death. “They say her death was justified,” Rekia’s brother, Martinez Sutton told the Chicago Tribune. “Her death was justified. Man. How? What did Rekia do? That’s what everybody asks me. And I’m still trying to find out. Because talking to everybody that was involved, I get the same answer. Nothing. So why is she dead?” Supporters continue to rally for justice for Rekia and hopefully this trial will bring said justice.
Officer Servin spotted Rekia with three others on their way to the store, near the park. They were going to buy cigarettes. Servin told two men in the group that no one would call the police if they were quiet in the park, but people live in the neighborhood and apparently they complain. One of the men of the group cursed at Servin and another told Servin to move the bleep on because he thought he was a detective trying to buy drugs. According to reports, as Servin drove the wrong way onto 15th Place, he said he looked over his left shoulder and saw one of the men pull a gun out of his waistband and point it at him. He then shot five bullets over his left shoulder, hitting Boyd in the head.
Cook County’s State Attorney, Anita Alvarez said she feels Rekia lost her life “For no reason.” And of course Servin’s supporters claim he acted in the line of his training and was protecting himself.
Sutton, Boyd’s brother, said he’s preparing himself for “possible disappointment” during the trial because of recent cases like Eric Garner’s choking death in New York. It’s the same story with Michael Brown’s killer Officer Darren Wilson who got off after murdering the unarmed teen. We can only hope that Rekia’s family gets the justice they deserve.