A Chicago police officer is reportedly under investigation by the FBI after killing a suspect in June, the third shooting the officer was involved in this year--and the second fatal one.
Gildardo Sierra, a nine-year veteran officer, is shown in a video, posted Saturday by the Chicago Tribune, firing several shots at Flint Farmer, a man who had already been shot and was lying on his stomach on the ground in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.
Sierra reportedly fired 16 shots at Farmer, seven of which hit him. Three shots fired by Sierra into the man's back were ruled by a Cook County deputy medical examiner as the wounds that killed Farmer. The officer claimed he thought the suspect was armed. Instead, Farmer was holding a cell phone.
The Chicago Police Department said the shooting was a justified homicide, just as they had said of the previous two shootings Sierra was involved with this year, one of which was also fatal. All the shootings took place in the early morning hours on the city's South Side, the Associated Press reports.
Garry McCarthy, CPD superintendent, admitted to the Tribune that Sierra should have been on desk duty at the time the June shooting took place. He called the Farmer case "a big problem." Sierra contends that the video in question "does not catch everything."
"He shouldn't have been where he was," McCarthy told the Tribune. "We should've had him off the street so that he was not in that particular environment and that problematic type of scenario."
While investigations are underway by both the FBI and the Independent Police Review Authority, Sierra has been stripped of his police powers, NBC Chicago reports.
Farmer's family has filed a federal lawsuit against Sierra and the Chicago Police Department and the city.
City officials report there have been 51 police-involved shootings during the first nine months of 2011, already more than the 44 reported in 2010, according to the AP.