Despite settlement, sibling wants cop who allegedly killed sister jailed
BY MARY MITCHELL firstname.lastname@example.org March 11, 2013 6:32PM
Updated: April 13, 2013 6:40AM
From all accounts, off-duty police Det. Dante Servin was acting like a thug on the night of March 21, 2012.
Servin was driving around the North Lawndale neighborhood, near Douglas Park, when he got into a shouting match with a man in a group that included 22-year-old Rekia Boyd.
When one of the men allegedly walked toward Servin’s vehicle pointing a cellphone, Servin pulled his gun, stuck it out of “the driver’s side window across his body” and fired “five shots blindly over his left shoulder in the general direction of the man,” according to the city’s lawyer.
One bullet struck Boyd, 22, in the back of the head and she died 36 hours later.
On Monday, the City Council’s Finance Committee signed off on a $4.5 million settlement to Boyd’s family.
It was Martinez Sutton, Boyd’s brother, who went to the media shortly after his sister was shot, demanding that Servin be held accountable for his actions.
“I still have the same feelings I had before,” Sutton told me on Monday. “I still want this guy in jail. No amount of money can bring my sister back.”
Servin is still on the police force.
The Independent Police Review Authority investigated the complaint against Servin, but the agency has been unable to interview the police officer.
“It is still a pending investigation. Where it stands now is it’s at the state’s attorney’s office. What we are waiting on now is if there are any criminal charges filed against the officer,” said Larry Merritt, a spokesman for the agency.
The long delay has Sutton wondering if Boyd will ever get justice.
“I actually had a breakdown on Saturday. My youngest brother got married, and [Rekia] physically not being there. It hit me hard. I had to step outside,” Sutton said.
“We still feel terrible that this guy is working and able to enjoy his family. My sister was brutally murdered and we know he is being protected by the city. It is stressful,” he said.
Last month, Boyd’s shooting was the subject of a one-hour special documentary, “The Injustice Files,” hosted by Keith Beauchamp, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker.
Boyd was killed by the off-duty police officer less than one month after George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, fatally shot Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
Zimmerman claimed he killed Martin in self-defense. Even though there were a lot of unanswered questions and a loss of life, local police officials didn’t arrest Zimmerman.
It took public demonstrations, an online campaign, and media exposure to force law enforcement in Florida to investigate the shooting. On April 11, 2012, a special prosecutor filed a charge of second-degree murder against Zimmerman.
Crista Noel, founder of Women’s All Points Bulletin, a not-for-profit advocating on behalf of female victims of police brutality, has tried to keep Boyd’s case in the media.
“Nothing is going to happen until the state makes the decision that Rekia is truly innocent,” Noel said.
Antonio Cross, the man Servin shot in the hand that night, is scheduled to go on trial on misdemeanor charges this month.
Those charges have remained even though all sides agree no gun was involved in this deadly incident, except the one fired by the off-duty police officer.
Meanwhile, Servin’s case is sitting at the state’s attorney’s office.
“[Rekia’s family] didn’t want to settle for that amount of money, but this is the first step for them getting some kind of peace,” Noel said.
“The point is, you will never be able to pay for somebody’s life.”
Rekia Boyd had no children. The settlement money will go to her mother and will likely be divided among siblings.
“It doesn’t really help. It doesn’t erase any pain or anything. This is not my idea of justice at all,” Sutton said.
“My idea of justice is Servin being fired from the force and serving time for what he did. I feel like this is some hush money from the city so that we will go away. What they don’t know is that I am very determined,” he said.
“I know my sister won’t get any rest until I get her justice.”