Protest outside Chicago police officer's home

March 28, 2012 8:02:12 AM PDT
Family and friends of a woman shot and killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer protested outside his home Tuesday night.

Rekia Boyd died after she was shot in the head. The off-duty officer says the man who was wounded during the shooting had a gun. That man denies having a weapon.

The officer's neighbors say tensions have been growing on the block for days. He was said to be angry about all the people and noise that came to the Douglas Park area near his home along with the unseasonably warm weather.

Now, nearly a week after that off-duty officer shot and killed a young woman, her family took its quest to his front door.

"Justice for Rekia! Justice for Rekia," protesters chanted Tuesday.

Chicago Police admit 22-year-old Rekia Boyd was an innocent bystander, an unintended victim of an off-duty detective's gunfire.

"I don't know. He was just a macho cop that night. He didn't have to do what he did to neither one of us," said Antonio Cross, who was also shot by the off-duty police officer.

For the first time Tuesday the man who police say sparked the confrontation is telling his side of the story. Cross, Boyd and others were near Douglas Park at 1 in the morning last Wednesday. That is when police say an off-duty detective who lives nearby pulled up in his car, rolled down his window, and told the crowd to quiet down.

The detective then says Cross pulled a gun. He drew his and opened fire.

"He fired plenty of shots," Cross said. "I think he was trying to kill me."

One of the bullets clipped Cross in the hand as he shielded his face. Another struck Boyd in the head. She died the next day.

Witnesses claim the officer fired nearly 10 shots.

Investigators never found the gun Cross allegedly had and prosecutors only charged him with assault, a misdemeanor.

"I want people to know I didn't have no gun. She didn't have no gun," said Cross. "I want people to know that girl was killed for nothing."

"Nobody's life should be taken. My sister was a young, black innocent woman," said Rekia Boyd's brother Martinez Sutton.

"She touched everyone she came in contact with," said Boyd's mother Angela Helton. "She loved everyone. My daughter, I'm going to miss her very much."

The off-duty officer did not comment Tuesday. He apparently was not home during the protest or did not come to the door.

The local alderman, Michael Chandler, says he feels police have only done a superficial job investigating this case. He met with police brass Monday to ask them to look into neighbors' claims that the officer told a crowd "What do I have to do around here to get some peace, quiet and respect? Shoot someone?" That statement was allegedly made the day before the shooting of Rekia Boyd.