Almost a year after 22-year-old Rekia Boyd (pictured) was gunned down on Chicago’s West Side by Chicago detective Dante Servin, the Chicago City Council Wednesday approved a $4.5 million settlement with the family, reports ABC News.
Boyd was an innocent bystander in Chicago’s Douglas Park around 1:00 a.m. on March 21, 2012 when Servin, responding to a disturbance call, arrived on the scene. The officer exchanged words with Antonio Cross, who was also in the park. After turning away, Servin, who was in his car, claims he saw Cross pull out a gun. It was actually his cell phone, but it was too late.
Servin fired five shots “blindly” over his shoulder, shooting Cross in his thumb and striking Boyd in the head. She died the next day at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Cross was charged with aggravated assaulted against Servin. The officer did not appear for the court date, so charged were dropped.
“We didn’t even get a damn I’m sorry yet. We’re still waiting,” said Boyd’s brother, Martinez Sutton.
Sutton and Darian Boyd, Rekia’s other older brother said that the family not only had not received condolences from the Chicago Police Department, but that Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy called the death “justified” in a press conference following the shooting.
“We’ve made multiple attempts to contact them and even asked news stations to please contact them since they won’t talk to us,” said Darian Boyd to Truth-Out at the time, adding, “It just makes it that much harder to deal with the grief.”
Though Boyd’s family will receive $4.5 million as part of a wrongful death settlement, they say justice has in no way been served until or unless Servin is criminally charged in the shooting death.
ABC reports more on the settlement and continuing investigation below:
“Superintendent (Garry) McCarthy and State’s Attorney (Anita) Alvarez should accelerate their investigation and bring charges,” said Bishop Tavis Grant. “It’s very clear this woman was murdered.”
Detective Servin was placed on administrative duty after the shooting where he remains today.
The Independent Police Review Authority in November turned over its report on the shooting to the State’s Attorney office where it currently remains.
“This has been a farce all along,” said Benjamin Starks, Cross’ attorney. “They knew they were not going to go forward, but they kept up the charade.”
After approving another multi-million dollar settlement involving police conduct, some council members wonder aloud about discipline.
“There are certain mistakes that people make and they do lose their jobs for them. There are consequences for those mistakes,” said Alderman Howard Brookins.
The financial settlement in the Boyd death came quickly, but the possible criminal prosecution of a police officer is not moving at the same speed.
The State’s Attorney’s office says that its review is ongoing and beyond that no comment on when or whether charges may come.
For Rekia Boyd’s family, her death is much more than a “mistake”:
“Her death certificate says killed by police,” said Sutton, “but I feel like my sister was murdered.”
Boyd was gunned down less than one month after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. As that case lingers on in the legal system, Zimmerman continues to elude consequences for his crime.
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