City officials in Chicago have been ordered to release the 2014 video that allegedly shows a white Chicago police officer named Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting a black 17-year-old named Laquan McDonald 16 times.
USA TODAY

CHICAGO– The chief of the Chicago Police Department said on Monday that he will recommend terminating an off-duty officer who fired his weapon into a crowd and killed an unarmed African-American woman.

Officer Dante Servin was found not guilty on involuntary manslaughter charges earlier this year for the March 2012 death of Rekia Boyd, 22. Servin fired his gun after getting into an altercation with a crowd in an alley on the city’s West Side, fatally wounding Boyd.

The police department said in a statement that Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Wednesday will send formal charges to the Chicago Police Board, recommending that Serving be terminated.

“After considerable deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that Officer Dante Servin showed incredibly poor judgement in his efforts to intervene in a low-level dispute while off-duty,” McCarthy said in a statement issued late Monday. “His actions tragically resulted in the death of an innocent young woman and an unthinkable loss for a Chicago family and community. In the end, CPD has rules that we all must live by. Officer Servin violated those rules and he’s going to be held accountable for that.”

Servin pulled out his weapon and fired five times after getting into a shouting match with a group. His lawyer said during his trial that Servin feared for his life, and pulled out his gun after seeing a man pulling something out of his waistband. Boyd was struck by bullets fired by Servin and died in the hospital two days later.

In an unexpected twist, Servin was found not guilty in May after Cook County Judge Dennis Porter said prosecutors should have charged the officer with a more serious offense than involuntary manslaughter. Porter, in ending the bench trial, said Servin acted “beyond reckless,” so he could not be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

McCarthy’s announcement comes as Chicago braces for the release of police squad car dash cam video which shows a white police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times.

A Cook County judge last week ordered the city to release the video that documents the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by this Wednesday. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with pastors and activists in the African-American community to discuss the release of the McDonald video.

Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the superintendent, told USA TODAY that McCarthy completed his review of Servin’s actions on Monday and that the court-ordered release of the McDonald video did not weigh in the timing of the Servin announcement.

The death of McDonald, who was holding a small knife when he was killed, came about two months after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. sparked protests around the country.

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