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Rekia Boyd Death: Months After Unarmed Woman Killed By Police, Family Has Few Answers

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Nearly two months after an unarmed Chicago woman was gunned down by an off-duty Chicago police officer, the 22-year-old's family is still searching for answers -- and justice.

Last month, the family of Rekia Boyd filed a lawsuit against the city and Chicago Police Det. Dante Servin, the officer who pulled up to Boyd and a group of friends in an unmarked vehicle as they stood near 15th Place and Albany Avenue on March 21.

Servin, according to Boyd's family, told the group to "shut up" and, after a verbal altercation with one person in the group, Servin allegedly opened fire. Antonio Cross, 39, was shot in his hand and Boyd was shot in the head. She died nearly 24 hours after the shooting.

James D. Montgomery, the attorney representing Boyd's family, claimed last month that Boyd was shot "without any justification." The police department initially claimed that Cross approached Servin with a weapon and that the officer opened fire because he feared for his life. But the Independent Police Review Authority has since stated that no weapon was found on the scene.

Darian Boyd, the victim's brother, last month told The Huffington Post that Servin lived in the Lawndale area, and had spoken out about noise near his home prior to the incident. "What do I have to do to get some peace, quiet and respect, shoot someone?" Servin reportedly said.

The Chicago Sun-Times' Mary Mitchell took up Boyd's shooting death in a column, published last week. Mitchell spoke with Martinez Sutton, also Boyd's brother, who said that he has chosen to speak out about his sister's death because he "wanted people to know her name and that she wasn’t just any old girl out there."

"Right now we are just waiting for an answer. Everybody has told me that it's under investigation. We are just playing a waiting game," Sutton told the Sun-Times.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) told the Sun-Times that the investigation is ongoing and did not say what the future holds for Servin.

Mitchell compared the seemingly slow response to Boyd's shooting death to the speedy investigation into the death of a pomeranian at the Montrose Beach dog park a matter of days before Boyd's death. The smaller dog died after an altercation with a pit bull who belonged to a Chicago police officer. The investigation into that incident led to the prompt disciplining and demotion of the five-year police veteran pit bull
owner, who failed to report the incident within 24 hours.

"The Chicago Police Department expects its members to demonstrate the highest standards of conduct on and off duty, and will not permit wrongdoing to go unaddressed," the department said in a statement following the citation of the pit bull-owning officer.

According to a community news site, Servin, as of last month, was still working on duty with the Chicago Police Department while the investigation into his actions continues.

For updates on Boyd's family's lawsuit, visit RightsforRekia.com. Boyd's family has also launched a petition aimed at finding justice for their loved one.

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