A judge in Chicago yesterday acquitted police Commander Glenn Evans of shoving his gun down a man’s throat despite evidence showing the alleged victim’s DNA on Evans’ gun, reports the Chicago Tribune. Judge Diane Cannon cited inconsistencies in Rickey Williams’ account of the on-duty incident, saying his testimony last week “taxes the gullibility of the credulous.” Williams was all too “eager to change his testimony at anyone’s request to accommodate the evidence,” said the judge, who called the testimony “unreasonable, improbable and contrary to human experience.” The prosecution’s strongest evidence — the recovery of Williams’ DNA on Evans’ service weapon — was belittled by Cannon as “of fleeting relevance or significance.” Evans’ had enough “lawful contact” with Williams to explain the DNA on the commander’s weapon, she said.
“Judge Cannon went out of her way to put the victim on trial in this case,” said Stephan Blandin, an attorney for Williams. “This isn’t about who was telling the truth and who was lying. This is about scientific DNA evidence. Rickey’s DNA was all over that gun.” The ruling marked another setback for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who despite bringing a recent first-degree murder charge against an officer for shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times has been barraged with calls for her to resign over delaying the release of the dashboard camera video of the fatal shooting until 13 months later. Alvarez defended her decision to charge Evans, saying, “This case underscores the reality that it is extremely difficult to convince judges or juries in Cook County and around the country to convict police officers of misconduct in the line of duty, despite the fact that this victim made an immediate outcry and we had DNA evidence to support our case.”