“Just watching the news story about that 22 year old woman who has been shot in the head, and I’m like,’I feel sorry for that family’…” – Martinez Sutton, brother of Rekia Boyd
On March 21, 2012, 22 year old Rekia Boyd was killed by Chicago cops after visiting with friends on Chicago’s W. 15th place. According to attorney James D. Montgomery, Rekia was with friends as an off-duty Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin told a neighboring group to “shut up” and opened fire after the ensuing exchange of acrimonies. During an attempt to flee, Rekia was struck in the head and died a little over 24 hours. Her friend, Antonio Cross was struck in his hand.
The defense of Servin rests on Chicago Police Department’s allegations that Antonio was brandishing a weapon and that Servin felt his life was in danger. According to witnesses and a thorough investigation of the scene, no weapons had been found. Some proffer the notion that Cross’ phone may have been mistaken, to this Cross mentions that he had the phone to his ear while he was talking in it.Cross asks, “How the fuck you think my phone was a weapon?”
Almost three years ago to the date, I wrote those above words detailing the murder of Martinez Sutton’s sister, Rekia Boyd by Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin. Three years later, almost to the date, Martinez Sutton left a courtroom after a Cook County judge decided that Servin was not guilty in the involuntary manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm case against him. The judge would allow for a defense motion, meaning that, Servin would be found not guilty without him even having to testify in his own defense. According to reports, Judge Dennis Porter would also attempt to contain the pain and anguish unleashed by his unjust, fate-sealing ruling by telling the family members and supporters of Rekia Boyd,“This is not a place for emotion. This is a place for reasoned decisions.”
Although, Rekia’s family received a settlement of $4.5M, the inability of centers of justice throughout the United States to find patrollers of Black communities responsible and accountable for less than surgical and disciplined use of weapons–and the license to use them in situations where racial bias is known to exist–removes a certain credibility from these offices. The judge presiding and rendering justice void in this case of a young woman killed for enjoying a simple night of revelry with friends by a servant of the community remarks in his verdict that possibly the wrong charge had been filed, and also that Servin acted “beyond reckless”. Yet, Servin gets to smugly walk through protesters with a flank of tax-paid patrollers, while the family of Rekia Boyd are placed under arrest for responding like humans are known to respond when a family member slain by someone is being protected by the powers authorized by wealth, guns, and custom to enforce and embody the interpretation of “law”.
May my condolences shatter the distance that separates my Self and the family of Rekia Boyd for their grievous robbery of Life and Justice today.