A Chicago police commander accused of shoving his gun down a man’s throat was acquitted of all charges, including two counts of aggravated battery and seven counts of official misconduct, by a Cook County judge Monday.
Cmdr. Glenn Evans, 53, was cleared of all charges stemming from the 2013 incident involving Rickey Williams, even in the face of the prosecution’s most compelling evidence — Williams’ DNA on the officer’s firearm, The Chicago Tribune reports. The decision came just three days after testimony in the bench trial.
Judge Diane Cannon, who said Williams’ testimony “taxes the gullibility of the credulous,” the Tribune writes, dismissed the evidence by noting that the commander had enough “lawful” contact with Williams to explain the presence of DNA.
From the Tribune:
Evans’ lawyer, Laura Morask, lauded the judge’s decision for being “able to cut through the — I can’t swear on live TV — and come to what we have always believed to be the right ruling.”
But an attorney representing Williams in a federal lawsuit against Evans over the alleged incident blasted Cannon’s decision.
“We had wondered why Cmdr. Evans would waive his constitutional right to a jury trial. Now we know,” said the attorney, Stephan Blandin.
“Judge Cannon went out of her way to put the victim on trial in this case,” he told reporters at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. “This isn’t about who was telling the truth and who was lying. This is about scientific DNA evidence. Rickey’s DNA was all over that gun.”
Still, in announcing her decision, Cannon pointed out inconsistencies with Williams’ testimony, noting that he was “eager” to change his testimony “at anyone’s request.” Her verdict comes during a period of high tensions between the police department and residents of Chicago, who in recent weeks have protested the police killings of Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson.
The climate of Chicago is not lost on Cannon, who acknowledged that “this is not a good time to try a case like this,” adding that it is never a good time for police misconduct.
Antonio Romanucci, Williams’ attorney, said his client will continue to push the civil lawsuit against the city of Chicago.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform