CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police officer and sergeant are every dealing with felony costs after Cook County prosecutors say they shot an unarmed man in July in Pilsen.
Chicago Police have beforehand described the July 22 incident at 18th and Morgan streets as a shootout, however Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Friday stated the 2 officers being charged have been the primary to open fireplace, and had no justification for opening fireplace on the 23-year-old man who was shot.
This case was flipped the other way up by surveillance video.
Chicago Police Sgt. Christopher Liakopoulos, 43, and Officer Ruben Reynoso, 42, every face costs of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and official misconduct.
Their bail was set at $25,000 every, which means they needed to $2,500 to be launched from custody. Both Liakopoulos and Reynoso bonded out of jail Friday night.
They have each even have been ordered to give up their firearms and Firearm Owners Identification Cards.
Both officers are assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Unit, and have been relieved of their police powers. They turned themselves in Thursday night time. Foxx stated they resist 30 years in jail if convicted.
Police have stated, shortly earlier than 7 a.m. on July 22, two officers with the Major Accident Investigation Unit have been driving to the police academy for coaching, after they noticed a gaggle of 4 folks sporting masks and loitering outdoors a closed retailer close to 18th and Morgan streets.
Police have stated, when one of many officers recognized himself as legislation enforcement, one particular person within the group pulled out a gun and began taking pictures, prompting the officers to shoot again.
“They have been masked up, clearly armed, and as soon as our officer recognized himself as a police officer, they started pulling a gun and taking pictures at our officers, making an attempt to kill them,” Police Supt. David Brown stated on the time.
After the preliminary trade of gunfire, the officers bought out of their automotive, and the shooter ran off, persevering with to fireside on the officers, police have stated.
However, Foxx stated a evaluate of proof within the case contradicted the officers’ claims, and exhibits that Liakopoulos and Reynoso fired first.
“The officers concerned on this incident didn’t have provocation or justification to shoot the unarmed sufferer throughout this incident. The proof doesn’t assist using lethal drive associated to the taking pictures of the unarmed sufferer, and was not lawful,” Foxx stated. “We can’t ignore or stand by acts of unprovoked violence, even by the hands of those that are sworn to serve and defend our communities.”
At the officers’ bond listening to Friday afternoon, Assistant State’s Attorney Alyssa Janicki stated, after Liakopoulos and Reynoso stopped to query a gaggle of males they noticed outdoors some closed companies close to 18th and Morgan to ask them what they have been doing there, a 23-year-old man and a juvenile began strolling towards the passenger aspect of the officers’ unmarked squad automotive.
While the juvenile was sporting a satchel on his chest that had a gun, the 23-year-old man was unarmed; holding a cellphone and wine bottle in a single hand, together with his different hand empty, in accordance with Janicki.
After approaching the officers’ automotive, the juvenile turned and ran away, whereas the 23-year-old man confirmed officers each of his arms. Janicki stated that is when each Reynoso and Liakopoulos pointed their weapons out the passenger’s aspect window and began taking pictures.
The 23-year-old man was shot within the again and leg, and fell to the bottom, in accordance with Janicki. The juvenile stored working east on 18th Street, earlier than firing a number of photographs on the officers, who fired a number of extra photographs.
A pedestrian who was strolling behind the juvenile on the time suffered a graze wound, in accordance with Janicki. Neither the juvenile nor the officers have been wounded.
Prosecutors stated the 23-year-old man who was shot was unarmed and by no means fired any photographs at police.
“The sufferer, who was shot and injured on this incident, was not in possession of a weapon, nor did the sufferer fireplace a weapon at these two officers,” Foxx stated.
That 23-year-old man, Miguel Medina, has filed a federal lawsuit in opposition to the town and Liakopoulos.
“The officers concerned on this incident, didn’t have provocation or justification to shoot the unarmed sufferer on this incident,” Foxx stated.
During an interview with detectives on the day of the taking pictures, the officers advised detectives they opened fireplace solely after the juvenile shot at them, in accordance with Janicki. The subsequent day, in an interview with each prosecutors and detectives, they stated they did not know who shot first, however stated the juvenile pointed a gun at them earlier than any photographs have been fired.
Several days later, video proof obtained through the investigation contradicted the officers’ accounts, exhibiting 23-year-old man was standing on the street close to the open passenger’s aspect window of the automotive, with each arms seen, and the juvenile was working away from the car when the officers began taking pictures.
Defense attorneys disputed prosecutors’ account of the taking pictures, saying the 23-year-old man gestured at officers together with his hand as each he and the juvenile have been strolling towards the automotive, and claiming it is unclear from the surveillance video who fired first.
“It’s not clear who fired first … but it surely does not matter if he is pointing the gun at him,” stated Reynoso’s protection lawyer Brian Sexton.
Sexton additionally accused prosecutors of transferring too rapidly to file costs earlier than the Civilian Office of Police Accountability has even accomplished a evaluate of the case.
“The state has jumped the shark,” Sexton stated.
The officers concerned didn’t have physique cameras, in accordance with Foxx. The video proof within the case got here from surveillance cameras close to the scene.
Sexton stated he desires a protecting order in cease COPA from releasing that video so a jury pool is not tainted.
Foxx stated an investigation stays open in regard to the juvenile, who has not been charged.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is also investigating the officers’ use of drive, however has but to announce any findings.
Liakopoulos has been a Chicago Police officer for 21 years. During that point, he is had 10 complaints filed in opposition to him, however none was substantiated – and he has by no means been disciplined.
Reynoso has been on the drive for 19 years. He has had 4 complaints filed in opposition to him, and like his accomplice, none have been substantiated.
The video on the coronary heart of this case is anticipated to be launched by COPA early subsequent week.