Chicago police officer who shot unarmed man at River North Red Line station found not guilty

CPD Officer Melvina Bogard was charged with official misconduct, aggravated battery

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Wednesday, November 23, 2022
CPD officer who shot unarmed man at CTA Red Line station acquitted
Chicago Police Officer Melvina Bogard was found not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed man, Ariel Roman, at the CTA Grand Red Line station in 2020.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago police officer who shot an unarmed man at a CTA Red Line station was found not guilty Tuesday.

A Cook County judge acquitted Officer Melvina Bogard on felony charges of aggravated battery and official misconduct.

Cell phone video captured the entire incident as two Chicago police officers struggled with a CTA passenger near the Grand Avenue station on the Red Line.

RELATED: Videos of police shooting at CTA Red Line station released by COPA

New videos that show a Chicago police officer shooting an unarmed man at a CTA Red Line station have been released.

The officers use their Taser on the man, and after more than five minutes, Officer Melvina Bogard fires her weapon at the man later identified as Ariel Roman. He was hit in the abdomen, causing serious injuries.

A Cook County judge ruled Tuesday that the shooting was not a crime.

"Judge Claps made the right ruling," defense attorney Tim Grace said. "No doubt about that."

The officer's attorneys argued she fired in self-defense. Before announcing his verdict, Judge Joseph Claps recounted the incident, noting Roman ignored the officer's commands and was allegedly carrying a large amount of drugs.

"He (Ariel Roman) has zero credibility. Zero," Claps said.

"To hear that from the judge was deeply disturbing," activist Eric Russell said.

RELATED: Man shot by Chicago police at CTA Red Line station sues city, officers

Attorneys for Roman have filed a federal civil suit. They say the video clearly shows the officer firing at the back of an unarmed man.

"We don't think it was the right decision," attorney Andrew Stroth said. "You have a video that shows our client was shot running away in the back twice. Unarmed. Shot in the back."

"Police officer chases him up the stairs without evidence of a weapon. Shoots him in the back," attorney Greg Kulis said.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has recommended Officer Bogard be fired. The matter has yet to be decided by the police board.

"We thought it was appropriate to separate the officer from the police department based on violations identified by COPA," Brown said.

"She's gonna have to deal with the police board, but based on that ruling, we're confident she is fit for duty," Grace said.

The federal judge has yet to set a trial date in the civil case. Attorneys say it will likely be sometime next year.