On a grim Thursday night that threatened rain, protesters gathered at Chicago Police Department Headquarters at 35th and Michigan. The protest was organized by Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), a group whose stated goal is “to create justice and freedom for all Black people.” About 200 activists gathered to demand that Detective Dante Servin, who shot and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd in 2012, be fired. Servin is the first CPD officer in 20 years to face charges for a fatal shooting.
The Independent Police Review Board (IPRA), which investigates claims of misconduct by Chicago Police officers, announced yesterday that it is recommending that Servin be fired. At last month’s hearing, BYP100 protesters packed the meeting and effectively shut it down.
Speaking before the meeting began, BYP100 member Jason Ware said, “The recommendation isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of the process.”
Activist Todd St. Hill agreed, adding that the IPRA needs major reform. “This accountability mechanism is a scam. It’s illegitimate,” he said. “We want accountability that people in the city have a say over.” St. Hill rejected the current model: a hand-picked board that he says favors police.
During the IPRA meeting, Board President Lori E. Lightfoot stated that even though the board has issued a recommendation, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy still has 90 days to issue a ruling in the matter.
After the board re-stated its ruling, members of the public were called to the podium to speak to the board, most expressing sustained anger at the 2012 killing.
The final speaker was Rekia Boyd’s brother, Martinez Sutton. Like many other speakers who before him, Sutton demanded that Servin be fired and that he be denied police pension benefits.
The public comment portion of the meeting ended, and the board adjourned until October. Protesters left noisily, again calling for Servin’s firing. The protesters gathered outside CPD headquarters and heaed east on 35th Street, chanting slogans as they marched into the night.