The family of Rekia Boyd, a 22-year old woman who was shot and killed by an off-duty officer with the Chicago Police, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
Boyd was shot in the head by a detective and died the next day from her injuries. Her family claims that the off-duty police detective had no reason to fire at Boyd, who was unarmed.
The detective, Dante Servin, said he lowered his window to investigate a disturbance in the neighborhood of Lawndale in Chicago. He said a man named Anthony Cross approached his car holding a handgun. Police said Cross pointed the handgun at Servin and the detective fired in self defense, hitting Boyd in the head and Cross in the hand.
According to the wrongful death lawsuit against the city, neither Boyd nor any of her companions that night were armed and Boyd herself posed no threat to the officer.
Servin, on the other hand, had a bad reputation in the neighborhood for being unnecessarily aggressive in dealing with the community’s residents, according to the suit.
Cross told WGN News that he was talking on his mobile phone and walking near the car when the officer began to fire out the window. Cross maintains he was unarmed and an Independent Police Review Authority investigation found no weapon at the scene. Cross told WGN it is unlikely that Servin thought his phone was a gun since he was holding it to his ear and talking.
Boyd’s family members have talked freely to media outlets about the suit. One of her brothers told a Huffington Post reporter that Servin also lives in the community and had been overheard speculating that he may have to shoot someone in order to command the respect he thought he was due in the neighborhood.
Family members and other witnesses also have been telling the media they believe Servin, who was off duty when the shooting occurred, may have been intoxicated at the time.
The review authority investigating the incident is led by Ilana Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig told the Huffington Post that the investigation is ongoing.