Family calls for justice for Rekia Boyd, woman shot to death by off-duty police officer

Rekia Boyd

January 9, 2013 4:20:21 PM PST
His younger sister was shot and killed last year by an off-duty Chicago police officer. Now, Martinez Sutton is speaking out about his family's loss and their demand for justice.

Twenty-two-year old Rekia Boyd was an innocent bystander when she was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer last March. It happened during a confrontation with Boyd's friend, who was scheduled to go on trial Thursday on misdemeanor charges in connection with the confrontation.

That misdemeanor case may be delayed again at the request of prosecutors.

Any police-involved shooting, especially one that has led to a lawsuit against the city as this one has, will not move quickly. But, Rekia Boyd's brother doesn't understand the absence of answers, particularly since he says he received an apology from the officer involved.

"I wake up some times and I expect to see her, and I haven't realized she's not coming back," Sutton said.

Sutton is smothered in grief and questions many months after the death of his sister. She was shot in the head by off-duty Chicago police detective Dante Servin on an unseasonably warm night last March.

Detective Servin was reportedly upset with late night noise behind his home across from Douglas Park and from his car had told a group of four people to quiet down. There were words, an object raised, and the detective fired his gun.

Antonio Cross was hit in the hand. The object he had raised was a cell phone. Boyd was hit in the head and pulled off life support the following day.

"I'm not an officer, but at least I know you're not supposed to shoot into a crowd," said Sutton.

Sutton told ABC7 that two months after his sister's death, he went to the shooting scene with a French television crew doing a story on victims of Chicago gun violence. While there, Detective Servin approached Sutton, asked for a hug, and explained that while he felt threatened that night, what happened was an accident.

"As he hugged me, he said, 'I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for that to happen. It shouldn't have been your sister that died. I didn't mean to shoot her.' He was telling me how sorry he is and how apologetic he is," said Sutton. "He said we deserve the right to know what happened."

What has perplexed and angered Rekia Boyd's family is that they have not heard an official version of what happened, nor has there been an apology or a decision on discipline.

"I was looking at the paper yesterday and the talk about how the streets have a code of silence. What about the code of silence inside the police department?" said Sutton. "You expect people on the street to speak, but you're not speaking when you take unlawful actions against us?"

Detective Servin was placed on administrative duty, ABC7 has learned.

The Independent Police Review Authority says its investigation is ongoing, but its preliminary findings were sent to the state's attorney's office last March.

ABC7 has asked if criminal charges are being considered against the officer, but have not received an answer.

An attorney for Rekia Boyd's family and a spokesman for the city's law department confirm that settlement discussions are underway in the Boyd lawsuit against the city.