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Judge refuses to expunge record of officer in fatal shooting

Judge refuses to expunge record of officer in fatal shooting
FILE - In this April 20, 2015, file photo, Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin listens as Judge Dennis Porter reads his decision at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on involuntary manslaughter charges in the March 2012 shooting death of Rekia Boyd. A judge has refused to expunge the record of Servin, who was acquitted of fatally shooting Boyd. In rejecting the request, the judge noted a not guilty verdict doesn’t always mean a defendant is innocent. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — A white former Chicago police officer who was acquitted of fatally shooting an unarmed black woman failed Tuesday to get his record expunged by a judge.

Dante Servin had asked that his records tied to the 2012 death of Rekia Boyd be stricken from police and court databases. In rejecting the request, Cook County Circuit Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. noted a not-guilty verdict doesn’t always mean a defendant is innocent.

Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for shooting the 22-year-old Boyd as she stood with a group of friends in an alley near Servin’s home. He told investigators he fired his handgun over his shoulder, from inside his car when a man who had been standing with Boyd came at his car with what appeared to be a gun. No weapon was found.

Boyd was struck in the head and died the next day.

In a 2015 bench trial, a judge found Servin not guilty, contending he should have been charged with murder.

Martin also denied a request from Servin’s lawyer to seal the case records, which would still allow access to law enforcement but not the public. Martin noted that Servin has benefited from prosecutors’ failure to file a murder indictment.

“Wherever he goes to apply for a job or whatever it is he wants to do, at the end of the day he has a judgment where the judge, the court, determined that he was not guilty,” Martin said.

During his court appearance last week, Servin said he is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, and has been unable to find steady employment.

Servin, 51, resigned from the Chicago Police Department in 2016, days before the police board was decide whether he should be fired. The resignation allowed him to keep his pension. The city settled a wrongful-death lawsuit in 2013 with Boyd’s family for $4.5 million.

Cook County state’s attorney’s office opposed Servin’s bid to expunge his record, saying he might seek work in law enforcement and that anyone considering him for a job deserved access to an official court record.

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