Judge refuses to expunge former CPD Detective Dante Servin's record in deadly shooting
A Cook County judge Tuesday refused to expunge the record of a former Chicago Police detective who was acquitted in the deadly shooting of a 22-year-old woman.
At a hearing last week, Dante Servin asked to have his records tied to Rekia Boyd's death be expunged after his 2015 acquittal in a controversial bench trial.
"I'm looking for employment. ... I have young kids at home, a son in college," Servin told Chief Criminal Courts Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. "More importantly, there has to be some kind of closure for my wife, my kids, my family. I want to put this behind me."
The veteran officer was charged with involuntary manslaughter nearly two years after Servin shot Boyd as she stood with a group of friends in an alley near Servin's home near Douglas Park. Servin's bench trial ended abruptly with a not guilty verdict ruling by Judge Dennis Porter.
Porter said the involuntary manslaughter charge would only hold if Servin had acted recklessly when firing his handgun over his shoulder from inside his car, striking Boyd. Servin told investigators he opened fire when a man who had been standing with Boyd came at his car with what appeared to be a gun, though no weapon was found.
State law made it clear that intentionally firing a handgun "is an act that is so dangerous it is beyond reckless," Porter wrote in his ruling. "It is intentional and the crime, if any there be, is first-degree murder."
At the hearing last week before Martin, Servin's lawyer pointed to the former officer's many decorations for meritorious service, and his lifelong desire to be a police officer. Fellow officers and neighbors testified to Servin's good character.
Martin, the son of a former CPD superintendent and a former public defender, delayed his ruling in order to review Servin's case, noting a not guilty verdict did not always mean a defendant was innocent.
Prosecutors opposed Servin's petition for expungement on "public policy" grounds, with Assistant State's Attorney Christa Bowden arguing that the charges against Servin should remain in the public record in case he were ever to seek another job in law enforcement.
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