Dante Servin, the Chicago police detective who was off-duty on the March 2012 night that he shot and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd with an unregistered firearm, was cleared on Monday of all charges. Servin fired over his shoulder, from his car, with a 9mm semi-automatic, into an alley where Boyd and her friends were walking, unarmed, with their backs turned to him. He hit Boyd in the back of her head and killed her.
Servin maintains—and the judge ruled—that he was justified: that Boyd’s boyfriend Antonio Cross raised a cell phone that seemed, at the time, to be a gun. Servin has insisted that he did this out of fear, and “felt threatened” after telling Boyd and her three friends to quiet down.
In the video taken after he left the courtroom, Servin, without making eye contact with the camera, goes on some absolutely chilling shit: “Any police officer especially would have reacted in the exact same way I reacted,” he says. “I’m glad to be alive. I saved my life that night.”
Rekia Boyd’s mother, giving her statement, disagrees: “They just found this man not guilty on all counts, and he blew my daughter’s brains out in the alley,” she says.
That night, Boyd and her friends had been at a nearby party, which had prompted Servin to call 911 out of what was in essence a noise complaint. “It’s out of control,” he said, according to DNAInfo. “There’s 2, 300 people there and I’m afraid that something bad is going to happen.” Yes, indeed—maybe like someone getting murdered for no reason by a man loitering with an unregistered semi-automatic! Ikca Beamon, who was with Boyd on that night, has told the subsequent events like this:
The group started to discuss how everyone was getting home. That’s when Servin approached, Beamon said.
He pulled up to the foursome as they passed an alley near Albany Avenue and 15th Street, and said, “You all need to cool it with all that f—-ing noise,” according to Beamon.
She testified that Cross and the other man assumed Servin was looking to buy drugs and dismissed him. An exchange of words followed, and one of the men said “f—- you” to Servin several times.
Since that night, Servin has remained on the police force—his only punishment being that he was consigned to desk duty. Now he has been cleared of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct, and reckless discharge of a firearm.
He said, on Monday, “I also explained to the family that if this is what they needed for closure—for me to be charged—I hope they got what they were looking for.”
What a remarkably cold thing to say. Protestors are marching in Chicago; yesterday, they yelled, “There’s a Mike Brown in every town.” Cowardice is deadly, but not for the cowards themselves.
Image via ABC/screengrab