22 year-old Rekia Boyd Killed by Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer; Cellphone Mistaken For Handgun?
Friends, family and community members are outraged by the tragic, senseless death of 22 year-old Rekia Boyd, who was shot by an off-duty Chicago police officer near Douglas Park.
Around 1 am last Wednesday, an off-duty officer approached a group of people in his car and asked that they quiet down. One of the individuals, 39 year-old Anthony Cross, approached the officer. Thinking he was holding a gun, the officer open-fired, striking Cross in the hand and (inadvertently) Rekia Boyd in the head. Rekia died later that afternoon.
Initially, Chicago police called the incident “justifiable;” however no weapon was ever recovered from the scene. Cross says he was holding a cell phone, not a handgun.
The Boyd family want justice for Rekia.
“Witnesses told ABC 7 Wednesday that no one pulled a gun on the off-duty officer. And prosecutors only charged the man who police say had a gun with aggravated assault, a misdemeanor.
“There were 60-70 people in the park and no one had a gun. Everyone was just out there to hang out, that’s it,” said witness Leo Coleman on Wednesday. Coleman is the alleged gunman’s cousin.
Boyd’s large family from south suburban Dolton sees similarities between what happened to her and the case of the unarmed Florida teen shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
“First you got Trayvon, now you got Rekia,” Sutton said. “Senseless, senseless violence. It didn’t have to happen.”
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the shooting.”
A rally will be held today at 2:30pm CST at Douglas Park in Chicago to demand Justice for Rekia Boyd. Check out the the facebook event page for more information.
Watch a news report on the incident below:
Was the shooting of Rekia Boyd justified?
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