Iowa Family Praises Chicago Grand Jury for Charges in Wrongful Shooting Case
By Dave Franzman, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids family feels like they are getting justice after waiting a year and a half. A grand jury in Illinois indicted an off-duty Chicago detective with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a family member.
Detective Dante Servin, 40, made a first appearance in an Illinois court Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct. His bond was set at $75,000.
The shooting of Rekia Boyd, 22, happened in March of 2012 in Douglas Park in Chicago.
Family members said Boyd visited, but never lived in Cedar Rapids. At the time of the shooting, she had six brothers and sisters living in Iowa. Those family members in Iowa kept attention on the Illinois case by organizing a Rally for Rekia event in April and June of 2012 in Cedar Rapids.
The officer claimed another person in a crowd at the park had drawn a weapon, but investigators now believe it was only a cell phone. One of the five shots fired by the officer struck Boyd in the back of the head as she tried to flee the scene of the shooting.
Marcy Boyd-Roundtree, who lives in Cedar Rapids, said the family had put their quest for justice in the hands of God. She said those prayers were answered with news of the indictment.
“What happened [Monday] is proof of our prayers, and like I said, what happened today will open the door for other families that have had to suffer [officer shootings] like this,” she said.
Family members in Cedar Rapids said Rekia Boyd was in the process of moving to Cedar Rapids just before the shooting but was delayed after a car wreck. The family knew it wouldn’t be easy to convince prosecutors, or a grand jury, to discount the officer’s story and file charges. But Boyd’s brother, Darian Boyd, said no one lost faith.
“The more time goes on, people tended to forget about it. So you just do what you can. But the reality is there are new situations every day that are very similar to her situation,” Darian Boyd said.
According to Chicago news reports, officers there have been involving in shooting incidents involving a total of 659 people since 1998. This was only the second time since then an officer was prosecuted for that action.
Members of Boyd’s family from Cedar Rapids said they are making plans to attend the trial.
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