BRONZEVILLE — A Chicago Police Board hearing shut down early after activists took control of the room, chanting and calling for the firing of Chicago Police Officer Dante Servin, who shot and killed an unarmed black woman in 2012.
"What if it was your son or your daughter?" the brother of the slain woman, 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, asked the police board during the 7:30 p.m. hearing at police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., Thursday night.
The activists, who represented the Black Youth Project 100, organized the rally to put pressure on police to fire Servin. Activists representing the #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName movements, which call for an end to police violence against people of color, especially women of color, were also present at the event.
Servin was off duty when he shot into a group of people standing in an alley near Douglas Park, killing 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, in 2012. Servin said he shot after he saw another person in the alley — later identified as Antonio Cross — pull a gun, but no weapon was recovered, and prosecutors said Cross had a cellphone.
Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but Judge Dennis Porter cleared him of those charges on April 20, arguing that the shooting was not "reckless" but rather "intentional," in a move that sparked protests.
During the meeting, the board told the crowd Servin is being investigated and it hopes to end the investigation by the board's next meeting in September. Board members, who are appointed by the mayor and can make decisions on police disciplinary cases, said they do their best and asked for "decency" during the meeting, eliciting some laughter from the audience, which filled the room.
Say Her Name and Black Lives Matter activists filled the room at an Aug. 20 Police Board meeting. [DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer]
Attendees were then given a chance to speak, with several activists using the time to criticize the Chicago Police Department and question why it hasn't fired Servin.
"The entire world is watching," a speaker told the board.
Boyd's brother, Martinez Sutton, then spoke. He became emotional as he held up a bag that he said contained his sister's bloody hair, shaved from her head during efforts to save her life. He said he has been harassed by police, and his family has been disrespected.
"What if it was your son or your daughter?" he asked.
The Police Board asked Sutton to finish his comments as his time was up. Sutton became upset, yelling at the board, and members of the crowd began to shout at the board and get out of their seats while police moved closer. The board attempted to speak to the crowd to regain control of the room but was unsuccessful.
A woman stood upon a chair and began a chant. When police attempted to move close to her, the crowd gathered around her so she could not be moved. Others then began chanting and giving speeches while the Police Board took a vote to adjourn the meeting, said those who had not been able to speak would be able to speak at the next meeting and left their tables at the head of the room.
At Police Board hearing. pic.twitter.com/MP8OhEptsw— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) August 21, 2015
Members of the crowd asked, "Why are you ignoring us?" but otherwise continued to chant as board members left. A woman from the crowd, who wore a shirt from the Say Her Name movement, said the meeting was "illegitimate" and said she was adjourning the meeting.
Afterward, activists gathered outside police headquarters, where they chanted, played drums and spoke about the hardships facing people of color. Sutton told the crowd he felt his family had been disrespected during the Police Board meeting.
"The fight is just beginning. With y'all love and support, I promise y'all I never lay down. No sleep. I'm gonna keep grinding," Sutton told the crowd.
Rekia's brother says he was given bloody hair from Rekia. pic.twitter.com/ux5UWWTc2I— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) August 21, 2015
"They still tend to treat this like it's a game. They still tend to treat this like this is a joke," Sutton said while holding up the bag of his sister's bloody hair. "I'm here to tell you all I ain't laughing."
The meeting and the lack of a resolution regarding Servin was "another disappointment" after years of fighting to have the officer fired, Sutton told DNAinfo Chicago, though he said he hadn't expected a resolution on Thursday since he's been waiting years for one. But, the activists have supported him even when times have been tough, "even when I'm tired, even when I'm shut down," he said.
"I'm tired of it," he said. "What's so wrong about taking somebody that's wrong off the streets?"
Police did not immediately respond to emails and calls for comment Thursday night.
Videos and a play-by-play from the meeting and the rallies before and after it:
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