Chicago police officer charged in connection with 2012 off-duty shooting

A Chicago police officer has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and other felony offenses in connection with an off-duty shooting of a 22-year-old south suburban woman near a park on Chicago’s West Side in March of 2012.

Dante Servin, 45, of Chicago, is charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Discharge of a Firearm and Reckless Conduct in connection with the shooting death of Rekia Boyd, who was walking with a group of friends near Douglas Park when she was shot by Servin in the early morning hours of March 21, 2012.

The charges were announced today by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez following a lengthy investigation by the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA).

Servin turned himself in to authorities this morning and he appeared in bond court at the George Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago where his bond was set at $75,000. Servin’s next court date is December 16th. Servin, who is a Detective, has been employed full time as a Chicago police officer since December of 1991.

“It is a sad and difficult day for law enforcement when an incident such as this occurs and criminal charges are warranted,” said State’s Attorney Alvarez. “But this defendant’s reckless decisions and conduct in opening fire in an occupied alleyway caused the violent death of an innocent woman whose life was cut far too short by this senseless tragedy.”

Servin, who lived in the vicinity of Douglas Park near 15th and Albany, was going home on March 20 at approximately 11:45 p.m. when he observed a large crowd of people congregating at or near the park. Servin, who was off duty and in plain clothes, entered his home and called 911 from his cell phone, reporting that there was a “…huge party, drinking, fighting, smoking drugs. There are 200 -300 people and I’m afraid that something bad is going to happen.”

According to prosecutors, Servin then left his home at approximately 1 a.m. to get something to eat. At the time, he was carrying an unregistered, fully-loaded Glock 9mm semi-automatic in a holster on his right hip.

At about the same time that Servin left his home, Rekia Boyd walked out of Douglas Park together with three individuals and the group began walking south on Albany.

According to prosecutors, as Boyd and her companions neared an alley near 15th Place, they encountered Servin, who was driving by with his window down. Servin slowed his vehicle as he neared the group and admonished them to be quiet. A male member of the group shouted back at Servin as the off-duty officer continued to pull his car out of the alley and began to turn the vehicle onto the street. The other male member of the group held a cell phone in his hand and also shouted at Servin and waved the cell phone in Servin’s direction.

According to prosecutors, Servin, while still seated in his car and either stopped or moving very slowly, pulled the weapon from his holster and pointed it across his body over his left shoulder and out the window, firing five rounds in the direction of the man with the cell phone and the other three individuals.

Rekia Boyd, who had her back to Servin’s vehicle and was continuing to walk across the alley, was struck by one round in the back of her head. Another one of the shots fired by Servin struck the right palm of the male who had been holding the cell phone.

After firing the shots, Servin exited his car with his gun still drawn and used his cell phone to call 911 at 1:05 a.m. to report the shooting. Boyd was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where she died the following day as a result of her injuries. The male with the cell phone was treated and released for a graze wound to his hand.

The public is reminded that criminal documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.