Target: Chicago Police Department
Goal: Demand the Chicago Police Department release an official version of the circumstances surrounding Rekia Boyd’s murder by an off-duty police officer, issue a public apology to Rekia Boyd’s family, and make a definitive decision regarding the discipline of the offending officer.
In March 2012, a young woman was shot and killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer. The Chicago Police Department called the incident “justifiable,” suggesting that the officer had responded to an apparent threat, and had only inadvertently shot Rekia Boyd. According to the family, the accused officer personally apologized to them two months after the incident and “said we deserve the right to know what happened” (Martinez Sutton, Brother of Victim, to ABC News). However, almost a year later, Boyd’s family has not been given the courtesy of an official version of events, a public apology, or a decision regarding the discipline of the offending officer.
On March 22, 2012, around one o’clock AM, an off-duty Chicago police officer approached a group of individuals near Douglas Park in his car and asked them to quiet down. One of the individuals advanced towards the officer with an object in his hand. Believing the object to be a gun, the officer opened fire, and struck the approaching man in the hand. The bullet continued its path to lodge in 22-year-old Rekia Boyd’s head. Rekia died later that day.
Chicago Police initially called the incident “justifiable,” citing that the individual who approached the off-duty officer was thought to be wielding a firearm. However, no weapon was recovered from the scene, and the man in question said that he was only holding his cell phone. Witnesses confirmed that no one had behaved threateningly and no one had pulled a gun on the officer. There were about 60 to 70 other people in and around Douglas Park at the time of the shooting.
Since then, almost a year after the incident, a misdemeanor charge has been brought against Boyd’s friend, but no further action has been taken, and it the Chicago Police Department has taken no steps to duly discipline the off-duty officer. Rekia Boyd’s family has not received an official account of the tragic incident, nor has a public apology been made to them.
Sign the petition below to demand that the Chicago Police Department give the Boyd family the courtesy of an official version of Rekia’s death, issue a public apology for the untimely and tragic end of an innocent young woman’s life, and bring her shooter to justice.
Dear Chicago Police Department,
On March 22, 2012 a young woman named Rekia Boyd was shot and killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer. Almost a year has passed since Rekia’s tragic death and yet the Chicago Police Department has not offered the grieving Boyd family a public apology, or taken any disciplinary action against the offending officer.
I am writing to ask that the Boyd family be given the courtesy of an official account of events, as they greatly desire. Also, the Chicago Police Department should publically apologize for the shooting and outline a course of action to bring the offending off-duty officer to justice. Do not allow silence to reign.
[Your Name Here]