2 Chicago Cops face felony costs associated to July capturing of unarmed man



CNN
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Two Chicago law enforcement officials have been charged with three felony offenses every in reference to an on-duty capturing of an unarmed man in July, Cook dinner County State’s Lawyer Kim Foxx stated Friday.

The case in opposition to them turned on video surveillance that contradicted their statements to investigators concerning the incident in Pilsen, within the metropolis’s Decrease West Facet.

Sgt. Christopher Liakopoulos, 43, and Officer Ruben Reynoso, 42, are every charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, the aggravated discharge of a firearm, and official misconduct, that are felonies punishable by as much as 30 years in jail, Foxx stated.

Liakopoulos and Reynoso, who’ve been relieved of their police powers, turned themselves in Thursday night, Foxx stated. They appeared at a bail listening to Friday and have been ordered to pay a $25,000 bond and give up their weapons, in keeping with Foxx.

The person who was shot didn’t have a weapon, nor did he hearth a weapon on the two officers, Foxx stated.

Based on Foxx, the 23-year-old sufferer sustained accidents and “has since recovered and is cooperating with authorities.”

The sufferer, Miguel Medina, on Friday filed a federal lawsuit in opposition to Liakopoulos and the town of Chicago.

His legal professional, Gregory Kulis, stated outdoors court docket that his shopper is “clearly harmless” of a criminal offense. Medina was not a risk to officers when he was shot twice within the again and as soon as in a leg, he stated. The four-count grievance was filed in opposition to the officer they imagine shot Medina, he stated.

Kulis stated his shopper was taken to the hospital for his wounds, however inside a number of hours police took him to query him. After he was launched with out costs, the legal professional stated, Medina was in ache and bleeding and returned to the hospital.

The Chicago metropolis authorities didn’t reply to CNN’s request for touch upon Medina’s lawsuit.

Throughout their investigation, the Cook dinner County state’s legal professional workplace checked out surveillance video “and, primarily based on that evaluate of all the proof together with that video, it’s our place primarily based on the info, the proof, and the legislation, that the officers concerned on this incident didn’t have provocation or justification to shoot the unarmed sufferer throughout this incident,” Foxx stated.

Statements the 2 made to investigators have been “immediately contradicted” by the videotape proof. Based on the state’s legal professional, the video, which has not been launched publicly, exhibits the officers firing their weapons earlier than taking return hearth.

Officer Ruben Reynoso and Sgt. Christopher Liakopoulos

After the bail listening to, Assistant State’s Lawyer Alyssa Janicki learn the prosecution’s assertion filed with the court docket to reporters. Prosecutors say the 2 officers have been in an unmarked automotive and headed to a police coaching course on the morning of July 22 once they noticed a gaggle of males strolling. They stopped to ask them what they have been doing outdoors a enterprise that was closed, Janicki stated. Earlier, Foxx stated neither officer was sporting a physique worn digicam on the time.

Medina and a juvenile walked towards the police automobile, she stated, noting that the juvenile “wore a satchel crisscrossed throughout his physique, which contained a firearm.” As they approached the defendants’ automobile, the juvenile held onto the firearm. The sufferer, Medina, had a cellphone and a wine bottle in a single hand and the opposite was empty. In some unspecified time in the future the juvenile rotated and ran away whereas Medina continued to stroll to the automotive, Janicki stated.

When Medina reached the passenger’s aspect, he waved on the officers along with his empty hand and displayed the cellphone and wine bottle within the different.

Then, the officers each fired “a number of photographs” in Medina’s route from contained in the automobile, putting him within the again and the leg. Medina fell to the bottom.

The juvenile continued operating throughout the road after which fired on the officers who responded by discharging their weapons, Janicki stated.

A pedestrian suffered a graze wound within the leg throughout the incident, she stated.

The officers have been interviewed after the Chicago police division contacted her workplace in search of costs in opposition to the juvenile, Janicki stated.

In the course of the first interview, the officers informed detectives they fired their weapons solely after “they have been fired upon by the juvenile.” In a second interview, they informed a detective and an assistant state’s legal professional they stated they didn’t know who shot first however stated the juvenile was pointing the gun at them earlier than the gunfire began.

However a number of days after the capturing, Janicki stated her workplace acquired surveillance video which contradicted what the defendants informed the detectives. The video revealed that when “the defendants discharged their weapons on the sufferer, the sufferer was standing on the street close to the open passenger window of the defendants’ automobile with each of his fingers seen, one hand empty and the opposite holding the mobile phone and the wine bottle,” Janicki stated, who added that the juvenile was seen operating away from the automobile.

Reynoso’s legal professional Brian Sexton argued on the bail listening to it was unclear from the video that the officers fired first, in keeping with CNN affiliate WBBM. CNN has reached out to Sexton and Liakopoulos’ legal professional, Timothy Grace, for remark.

“The Cook dinner County State’s Lawyer’s workplace is dedicated to justice and equity and that’s what brings us right here right now. We don’t take this nice accountability calmly, nor can we have a good time within the charging of law enforcement officials,” Foxx stated. “We help the laborious working women and men of the Chicago Police Division, who like many legislation enforcement companions throughout Cook dinner County, face risks on daily basis to maintain us secure.”

“With regard to this explicit case, we can’t ignore or stand by acts of unprovoked violence even by the hands of those that are sworn to serve and shield our communities,” Foxx added.

The 2 officers are members of the Chicago Police Division’s main accidents investigations unit. Liakopoulos has been with the division since 2001 and Reynoso has labored for the company since 2003.

CNN reached out to the Chicago Police Division, which confirmed the officers have been relieved of police powers however didn’t touch upon the specifics of the case.

In a video posted to YouTube, John Catanzara Jr., president of the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7 stated, “Two of our officers have been indicted by Kim Foxx for doing their job. An energetic gun battle with an armed offender, and so they engaged him and fired rounds.” Catanzara didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark from CNN Friday.

Chicago’s Civilian Workplace of Police Accountability is also reviewing the incident. It’s anticipated to publicly launch the movies of the capturing subsequent week. The officers’ attorneys have requested a choose to cease that video launch, WBBM reported.

Based on Foxx, the investigation associated to the juvenile’s involvement is ongoing.

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