The first jurors in memory to acquit a defendant in the death of a Chicago police officer say the evidence did not prove the fatal shooting of Officer James Camp was intentional and reject criticism that they reached a verdict too hastily.
Prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that while wrestling with Camp near a stolen car in March 1999, the suspect had intentionally shot the 34-year-old officer in the face with Camp’s own 9 mm service pistol, jurors said. Jurors said they were essentially willing to accept the defense version of the case–that the shooting could have been an accident as Dean was trying to keep from being arrested.
The verdict outraged police and city leaders, causing some to wonder members of the jury compromised with each other to keep from being sequestered for a lengthy period. Said one juror: “I am sorry that people wanted someone held accountable and wanted someone put away for political reasons. We had to look at the facts.”