Rekia Boyd family awarded $4.5 million settlement

March 13, 2013 4:29:50 PM PDT
The Chicago City Council Wednesday approved a $4.5 million settlement with the family of Rekia Boyd, an innocent by-stander who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer.

Wednesday night the family is troubled that the officer is still with the department.

It will be a year ago next week that Rekia Boyd was shot in the head by off-duty Chicago detective Dante Servin.

The city acknowledges that Servin, seated in his car, fired five shots blindly over his shoulder at a man with whom he'd exchanged angry words.

That man was Antonio Cross who was on his cellphone when he was shot in the thumb. Another bullet struck 22-year-old Rekia as she turned to escape the gunfire. She died the next day.

"We didn't even get a damn I'm sorry yet. We're still waiting," said Boyd's brother, Martinez Sutton.

Rekia's Boyd's family will receive $4.5 million as part of a wrongful death settlement approved by the city council. But justice, they say, will not be served until and unless Detective Servin is criminally charged.

"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.

"Before I knew it, he got his gun aimed at my head and started shooting," Antonio Cross said.

Though wounded, Cross was charged after the shooting with aggravated assault, detective Servin as the victim. Cross went to court Wednesday morning. Servin did not, and the charge against Cross was dismissed.

"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.


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