Police Involved Shootings

Video of Fatal Police-Involved Shooting of Murder Suspect in Lakemoor

(Sun Times Wire) Authorities on Monday released video of the fatal July shooting by police of a Pennsylvania murder suspect in northwest suburban Lakemoor.

The shooting was recently deemed justified by the Lake County state’s attorney’s office.

An officer on patrol about 5 a.m., July 26, 2018, noticed a car parked on a gravel access road that seemed out of place near Four Seasons Boulevard and Sullivan Lake Road, said Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Chris Covelli.

Kenneth Martell, 36, who was wanted in connection to a murder that happened three days earlier, rolled down his window and said he was resting during his journey “heading west” from Pennsylvania, Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim said in a statement.

Martell gave a fake name and handed the officer a piece of paper to distract him as he pulled out a handgun, Nerheim said.

Martell pointed the gun at the officer and pulled the trigger, but it did not fire, Nerheim said. They then struggled for the gun.

A backup officer approached and saw Martell raise his hands, clutching a revolver, Nerheim said. The officer commanded the man to “drop it” before firing a single shot at his face, Nerheim said.

Martell was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy found he died of a gunshot wound to the face, according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office. Toxicology results ruled he had amphetamines, methamphetamines and marijuana in his body when he died.

The video was obtained by FOIA request from the Lake and McHenry County Scanner.

Article Org: Chicago.suntimes.com

Man Shot by Alsip Police after Ramming Squad Cars

(Fox) A person was shot by a southwest suburban police officer after rear-ending two police squad cars Wednesday morning in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the Far South Side. About 3 a.m, an Alsip police officer fired shots at a male during what was described as an altercation at the intersection of 115th Street and…

3 Cops Wounded, Shooter Killed in South Elgin

(ABC) Three police officers were wounded in South Elgin Tuesday night and the man who police said fired the shots has died, police said. South Elgin police said officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 300-block of Woodridge Circle at about 10:50 p.m. When officers arrived, a man in a condo building…

2nd Man in Custody after ATF Shooting in Gary

(WLS) A man who had been on the run after the shooting of an undercover ATF agent in Gary, Indiana has been taken into custody, the ATF said Saturday. Bernard Graham, 25, of Calumet City surrendered to federal authorities at about 12:15 p.m. Saturday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.…

Back of Yards ATF Shooter in Custody

(WGN) At least one suspect is in custody in the shooting of an ATF agent in Back of the Yards last week, federal prosecutors confirmed Tuesday. A court hearing is slated for 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn St., before Judge Maria Valdez. A full complaint will be available after…

Off Duty Dolton Cop Shot in Chatham

(Sun Times Wire) A 55-year-old suburban police officer was shot early Monday during an attempted robbery in the South Side’s Chatham neighborhood. Darryl Hope, a detective with south suburban Dolton Police Department, was returning home from his shift to the 7600 block of South Calumet Avenue about 12:10 a.m. when two armed people approached him,…

Aurora Police Release Video of Fatal Police-Involved Shooting

  We have released video clips and still shots taken from a bank surveillance system and a video previously posted to social media that depict the exchange of gunfire between two of our officers and Santiago Calderon of Aurora. The shooting occurred at approximately 9:45 p.m. March 22, when two Special Operations Investigators followed a…

1 Dead, 2 Cops Injured in Aurora Shootout

(WGN) Authorities say a man has died and two police officers were wounded in a shootout in Aurora. The shooting happened around 10 p.m. Thursday near Galena Boulevard and Lasalle Street. The Aurora Police Department says two special operations investigators followed a vehicle they’d spotted leaving a suspected gang house, and pulled it over. Police say…

Man Charged with Firing at Chicago Police in Austin

(Sun Times Wire) An 18-year-old man has been charged with shooting at Chicago Police officers Friday evening in the West Side Austin neighborhood. Lyntrell Armstead Jr., 18, faces charges of two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and one count of possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, according to Chicago…

Chicago Cop Receives 5 Years Federal Time, for Wounding 2 Teens

(Chicago Tribune) The first time Chicago police Officer Marco Proano shot someone, he was given a department commendation.

Less than a year later, when Proano fatally shot a teen outside an overcrowded dance party, he was rewarded with the superintendent’s award for valor.

But Proano’s third on-duty shooting in a three-year span earned him a much more dubious distinction on Monday: Five years in prison.

Proano, 42, who was convicted of excessive force for firing 16 times into a moving vehicle filled with teens in December 2013, became the first Chicago police officer in decades, if not ever, to be sentenced to federal prison for an on-duty shooting.

In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman said that Proano’s actions that night — caught on police dashboard camera video — were “exceptionally unjustified” and an insult to hardworking officers who serve and protect. Two of the teens were wounded, but all five in the vehicle were lucky they weren’t killed, the judge said.

“Mr. Proano was not maintaining the ‘thin blue line’ that separates us from anarchy, and chaos and violence,” Feinerman said. “He was bringing the chaos and violence. He was the source of it.”

Proano’s case became a public flashpoint amid the Laquan McDonald shooting scandal in 2015 after a Cook County judge released to the Chicago Reporter the shocking dashcam video of Proano aiming his gun sideways and firing as the Toyota containing the teens backed away from him.

Adding to the controversy was Proano’s attempt to justify the shooting by claiming he was trying to protect one of the teens who was hanging out of the car’s passenger window as it backed away. At trial, prosecutors showed jurors how the Toyota was sprayed haphazardly with bullets, including one that struck just inches from the teen Proano was supposedly defending.

After the incident, the Police Department changed its policy on the use of deadly force to prohibit officers from shooting at or into a moving vehicle when it “is the only force used” against the officer or another person.

As he argued at trial, Proano’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, said Monday that Proano did exactly as he was trained to stop a deadly threat. In asking for probation, Herbert also said Proano had been made a scapegoat in the wake of the McDonald video and ensuing U.S. Department of Justice probe that found Chicago officers routinely violated the constitutional rights of citizens.

Herbert said Proano was “extremely remorseful” for his actions but hinted that his client did not wish to address the court before he was sentenced. Proano, however, had an apparent change of heart, telling the judge he was trying “to protect human life” that night and still feels strongly he did nothing wrong.

“The night in question I didn’t go out there hunting for somebody or trying to kill somebody,” said Proano, speaking quickly and occasionally stumbling over his words. “I had a minimal amount of time to put it all together — a matter of seconds.”

Proano said he initially was “baffled” over being charged, asking himself, “Why am I even here?” He said he believes the anti-police “climate” contributed to the decision to charge him.

In his remarks, Feinerman said he found Proano’s lack of acceptance that he committed a crime “troubling.”

“This was not a close call,” the judge said. “Mr Proano engaged in criminal armed violence.”

Proano showed no reaction to the sentence when it was handed down, leaving the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse without comment.

After the hearing, Herbert said he planned to appeal the verdict and sentence, calling his client a good man who had “no malice in his heart.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Joel Levin said it was “nonsense” to argue that Proano was charged because of an anti-police climate.

“This case is not about Officer Proano being a scapegoat at all,” Levin told reporters in the courthouse lobby . “In this case, Officer Proano was investigated for the conduct that he committed. … It was about him. It was about conduct that he committed. And ultimately today he was sentenced for his crimes, no one else’s crimes.”

Proano, an 11-year department veteran, has been relieved of his police powers since he was charged and will soon be off the force entirely because of his felony conviction, Herbert said. He must report to prison by Jan. 23.

Proano’s weeklong trial in August focused on the dashcam video of the shooting that unfolded at 95th and LaSalle streets on Dec. 22, 2013, after Proano responded to a call of a stolen vehicle being pursued by police.

The video, played several times for jurors, showed Proano walking quickly toward the stolen Toyota within seconds of arriving at the scene while he held his gun pointed sideways in his left hand. Proano can be seen backing away briefly as the car went in reverse, away from the officer. He then raised his gun with both hands and opened fire as he walked toward the car, continuing to fire even after the car had rolled into a light pole and stopped.

In all, Proano unloaded all 16 bullets in his gun in just under nine seconds. Prosecutors argued his actions violated all the training he received at the police academy, including to never fire into a crowd, only fire if you can clearly see your target and stop shooting once the threat has been eliminated.

In a recent court filing, prosecutors said Proano has shown no remorse for his actions. In fact, the officer told court officials in a pre-sentence interview that he sees himself as the victim, saying he felt “a sense of ‘betrayal’ ” because he’d served the community for many years and “is now ‘left out in the cold,’ ” prosecutors wrote.

In his arguments Monday, Herbert, who also represents Officer Jason Van Dyke on murder charges in the Laquan McDonald shooting, said Proano’s indictment for the shooting has “resonated throughout the Chicago Police Department” and sent a “loud and clear” message to police rank-and-file that their actions are being scrutinized like never before.

Herbert also hinted that Proano’s case has had a chilling effect on other officers who aren’t policing as aggressively as before for fear of being slapped with charges.

In rebuttal, Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgia Alexakis said it was “offensive to say, “Give (Proano) a light sentence because otherwise police officers might not do their jobs.’”
Records show the 2013 incident was Proano’s third on-duty shooting in three years. In 2010, he was one of five officers who opened fire on a car after a chase and crash in the 700 block of West 91st Street. The driver — 32-year-old Garfield King, a convicted felon — was killed, according to a database of police-involved shootings compiled by the Chicago Tribune. Proano, meanwhile, fired five rounds into the vehicle, wounding a 19-year old woman riding in the passenger seat of King’s car.

Less than a year later, in July 2011, Proano fatally shot 19-year-old Niko Husband at close range during a struggle as police tried to break up an unruly dance party on the South Side. Proano said Husband had tried to pull a gun.

Proano was cleared in both shootings by the now-defunct Independent Police Review Authority, records show. For Husband’s shooting, he was also given a superintendent’s award of valor — bestowed for acts of “outstanding bravery or heroism,” Herbert said.

A Cook County jury later ruled the shooting of Husband was unjustified and awarded his mother $3.5 million in damages. But the judge overseeing the case set aside the jury’s verdict, a ruling that’s being appealed.

Article Org: chicagotribune.com