The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Family of Woman Killed by Off-Duty Cop Sues City

22-year-old Rekia Boyd died a day after she was shot in the back of the head on the West Side. Detective Dante Servin, an off-duty cop, is Boyd’s alleged killer.

Now, Boyd’s family has filed a wrongful death suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Servin and the city of Chicago for the shooting, the Chicago Tribune reports. In the filings, Boyd’s family contends that the officer opened fire on Boyd without legal justification.

According to the lawsuit, Boyd and a group of friends were enjoying the unseasonably warm weather around 1 a.m. in the Lawndale neighborhood. Servin, who lived nearby, allegedly drove up in an unmarked vehicle and told the group to “shut up.”

A verbal altercation allegedly arose between Servin and the group, culminating with Servin drawing his pistol and firing on the group. Boyd and her friends ran, but 39-year-old Antonio Cross was shot in the hand and Boyd was shot in the head, according to the lawsuit. Boyd died from her injuries the following day.

After the incident, police reported that Cross had pointed a handgun at the officer, and that Servin had acted in self-defense. Though no weapon was found at the scene, police still contend that Cross left the area following the shooting and may have stashed the weapon.

A wrongful death suit may be brought by the family members of a person who died as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another individual or entity. Plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit seek compensatory damages to compensate them for their loss and punitive damages to punish in situations where the defendant’s actions were extremely bad. Boyd’s family may seek punitive damages by arguing that Servin’s act was malicious and deliberate. In some cases, punitive damages can far exceed compensatory damages.

The Independent Police Review Authority is currently conducting an investigation of Detective Dante Servin’s shooting Rekia Boyd.

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