A Chicago police officer goes on trial today on felony charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of a 22-year-old black woman in a case that has drawn attention as the nation debates police use of deadly force, especially against young black people, Reuters reports. Dante Servin, who is Hispanic, is the first Chicago police officer in 15 years to be charged in a fatal shooting. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter and other felonies in the off-duty shooting of Rekia Boyd.
Servin called 911 to report a loud party in a park near his home, prosecutors say. After midnight, he left his home to get food, armed with an unregistered semiautomatic handgun. He got into an argument with a group of young people in an alley and shot at them from his car, wounding Boyd, who died the next day. The defense will argue that Servin believed one of Boyd’s friends had a weapon. The last Chicago police officer convicted in a killing, Gregory Becker, shot a homeless man in an off-duty incident in 1997. He served nearly four years in prison. In Chicago, police have killed an average of 17 people a year over the last seven years, almost every case ruled justified.