Rekia Boyd

Meet Rekia Boyd, born Novem­ber 5, 1989 and a res­i­dent of Dolton, Illi­nois, along with her family.

On March 21, 2012, Reki­a’s life was trag­i­cal­ly cut short. While out with a group of friends late in the evening, enjoy­ing music, drinks, and each oth­ers’ com­pa­ny at Dou­glas Park. In the small hours of the night, Rekia and a few of her friends made their way to a near­by liquor store, where their paths would inter­sect with off-duty Chica­go Police Depart­ment offi­cer Dante Servin.

Servin approached the group in his vehi­cle — whether calm­ly or bel­liger­ent­ly, we don’t know for sure — and report­ed­ly solicit­ed buy­ing drugs from the group, to which Reki­a’s friend Anto­nia Cross respond­ed, telling Servin to “get his crack­head ass out of here.”

At some point, Servin drew his weapon on Rekia and her friends, and aim­ing out his win­dow, he opened fire on them. Anto­nia was shot in the hand. Rekia, the head. She was killed instantly.

Servin would claim lat­er that Anto­nia was approach­ing him with a gun, but no such gun was ever recov­ered from the scene; most like­ly, Anto­nia was hold­ing his phone. Servin would also claim that as he approached, the group were arguing.

Servin, in Novem­ber 2013, was tried for manslaugh­ter, but was acquit­ted of all charges two years lat­er in a direct­ed ver­dict — Judge Den­nis. J. Porter ordered a deci­sion of not-guilty. Manslaugh­ter implies an acci­dent, but the actions of Servin that night were inten­tion­al. The judge rea­soned that if there was a crime, it would be mur­der, not manslaugh­ter. No mur­der charges were brought against Servin, however.

Servin resigned from the Chica­go Police Depart­ment on May 17, 2016, two days before a hear­ing to deter­mine whether he would be fired, as called for by Chica­go May­or Rahm Emanuel and Super­in­ten­dent of Police Gar­ry McCarthy.

The City of Chica­go would give Reki­a’s fam­i­ly $4.5 mil­lion, and her mur­der and the sub­se­quent com­plete lack of jus­tice would help inspire Black Lives Matter.

For­mer Detec­tive Dante Servin would go on in 2017 to briefly serve as a nation­al police com­mu­ni­ty advi­sor in Hon­duras. In 2019, he sought to have the record of his manslaugh­ter indict­ment expunged from his record, or at the very least to have those records sealed so that the pub­lic would no longer have access to them, so that he could have “clo­sure” and bet­ter job prospects. Both of these requests were denied, how­ev­er, and as judge Leroy Mar­tin, Jr., not­ed, “Can­did­ly, it seems to me, that Mr. Servin has ben­e­fit­ted from the state’s…failure to file a mur­der indict­ment against Mr. Servin and to go for­ward on invol­un­tary manslaughter.”

Mar­tinez Sut­ton, Reki­a’s broth­er who was present for the court con­sid­er­a­tion of Serv­in’s record, said, “You go through those expe­ri­ences, and the per­son who mur­dered your sis­ter still gets to walk around and still col­lect a pen­sion from the city then why would any­body have faith in the court system?”

For­mer Detec­tive Dante Servin col­lects month­ly pen­sion checks of $4,700, and has done so since 2018.

Rekia Boyd was twen­ty-two years old.

Rekia Boy­d’s life mattered.

Sources

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Rick Beckman