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Vol. 80/No. 24       June 20, 2016

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After years of protests, Chicago cop who killed Rekia Boyd quits

CHICAGO — Following a year of monthly protests at the Chicago Police Board demanding the firing of Dante Servin, the cop resigned May 17, two days before a hearing to consider dismissing him. Servin is the police detective who shot and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd in March 2012.

“It’s a start,” Martinez Sutton, Boyd’s brother, told the Militant. “Servin is no longer on the force and can’t do to anyone else what he did to my sister. That’s the most important thing to me. But he has been sitting at a desk collecting his salary for the last four years and is still going to collect his pension.”

Servin, who was off duty when he shot and killed Boyd, got into a verbal altercation with a group of youths near his home. One of the young men allegedly walked toward the detective’s vehicle holding a cellphone. Servin pulled his gun and fired five shots, hitting Boyd in the back of the head.

Servin was stripped of his police powers in November 2013 and charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct. However, he walked free in April 2015 after Associate Judge Dennis Porter dismissed the charges — on grounds that Servin’s act was deliberate, not reckless.

Meanwhile legal proceedings continue in the lead up to the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the cop who killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. The release last November of the police dash-cam video showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald sparked a wave of protests that swept the city for weeks.

On May 5, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez reversed her previous stance and requested the court appoint a special prosecutor to handle Van Dyke’s case. Alvarez lost her bid for the Democratic Party nomination for state’s attorney to former prosecutor Kim Foxx, who made Alvarez’s handling of the McDonald killing and other recent cop killings a central issue of her campaign.
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