A number of family members and supporters of four black youths fatally shot by Chicago police are calling for change.
The group gathered Wednesday night outside a police station in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, commemorating the birthday of one of the victims and demanding the department modify the way it handles police-involved shootings.
Rekia Boyd, who would have turned 24 on Wednesday, was fatally shot by off-duty Chicago police officer Dante Servin in March 2012. Servin has since been charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct, and will be due in court when his trial begins Dec. 3.
Chicago police and those close to Boyd offer disparate accounts of what happened the night of Boyd’s shooting. While police argue that the off-duty officer “feared for his life” and acted in self-defense, Boyd’s friends and family say she was an unarmed, innocent bystander killed without justification.
Addressing the crowd outside the police station Wednesday night, Boyd’s brother Martinez Sutton spoke emotionally about his sister’s slaying and expressed frustration that Servin has been put on paid desk duty since he was indicted last November.”If I was wanted for a murder, I would be behind bars right now until I proved my innocence,” Sutton said. “But if one of these officers takes away one of our lives, they get a cushy job, probably at the 311 center, behind a desk. … It’s like a damn promotion. Are you trying to tell us our lives are not worth anything?”