Opening statements begin in trial of CPD officer for 2013 shooting

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Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of Chicago police officer Michael Proano, accused of federal civil rights violations for firing at a car full of teenagers. (WLS)

Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of Chicago police officer Michael Proano, accused of federal civil rights violations for firing at a car full of teenagers.

It took over a day to select the jury of eight men and four women. There is only one African American serving on that jury.

The first piece of evidence jurors saw in the case was one minute and eight seconds of video from the dash cam of his squad car that shows Proano firing shots at a Toyota filled with African American teenagers.

The video is from late 2013 in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, and the car was stolen.

In her opening statement, U.S. Attorney Georgia Alexakis told jurors, "The defendant fired 16 times. He emptied his clip, used every bullet in his gun... striking two kids inside."

The city of Chicago has already settled a civil suit brought by the two victims. But the government is charging Proano with using excessive force. Proano's attorney, Dan Herbert, told jurors his client was acting according to his training.

"He did was he was trained to do. What he was required to do. What the law allowed him to do," Herbert said.

Proano's training is expected to play a central role in both sides' arguments in Proano's trial. The first witness expected to testify Wednesday morning is his former partner.

Related Topics:
chicago police departmentpolice-involved shootingtrialChicagoLoopRoseland
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