In an unexpected move, a judge dismissed the case against Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin in the 2012 shooting death of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, an unarmed African-American woman. Servin was facing charges that included nvoluntary manslaughter for killing Boyd in Douglas Park when he shot into a group of young people while off duty. Servin reportedly got into an argument with the group about the amount of noise they had been making.
Servin's defense attorneys did not have to present their case, as the judge ruled Monday after the prosecution finished presenting their side last week.
"Illinois courts have consistently held that when the defendant intends to fire a gun, points it in the general direction of his or her intended victim, and shoots, such conduct is not merely reckless and does not warrant an involuntary-manslaughter instruction, regardless of the defendant's assertion that he or she did not intend to kill anyone," said Judge Dennis Porter in the courtroom after warning those in attendance that they should leave if they have a tendancy for outbursts, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"The absence of any evidence of reckless conduct renders it unnecessary for this court to consider whether the defendant was justified in his actions, Porter added.
Servin maintained his innocence after the judge's decision came down, adding that his actions "saved [his] life."
"I always maintained it was an accident what occurred to Miss Boyd," Servin said. "Miss Boyd and her family, they have my deepest sympathies."
"Any reasonable person, any police officer especially would have reacted in the exact same manner that I reacted, and I'm glad to be alive," he added. "I saved my life that night. I'm glad that I'm not a police death statistic."
Cook County State's Attorny Anita Alvarez released a statement in response to the judge's decision Monday.
"I believe that my office had provided sufficient evidence before the court to not only demonstrate, but also to prove, that Officer Servin's conduct was clearly reckless in the senseless fatal shooting of Rekia Boyd," Alvarez said. "Justice was denied today for Rekia Boyd and her family, and I extend my deepest sympathies as they struggle to come to terms with this unexpected decision."
Monday night, activists took to the streets in protest of the judge's decision to throw out the case.