CHICAGO — A Chicago Police officer has been fired following a 2011 shooting that wounded a bystander in East Village.
The Chicago Police Board voted 8-0 to dismiss Officer Francisco Perez at a Thursday night meeting, said board President Lori Lightfoot. The Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates police misconduct, recommended Perez be fired in 2015, the first time it had recommended that step in the organization's history.
On Nov. 5, 2011, Perez saw someone in a red Mitsubishi car fire shots at people on the street outside La Pasadita restaurant, 1140 N. Ashland Ave., according to a report from the Police Board. Perez, who was off duty at the time, then fired shots at a blue Chrysler, hitting the driver of the car in the back, the board said.
The Police Board charged Perez with "failing to identify the appropriate target" before firing his gun and/or "failing to take reasonable precautions to ensure" the Chrysler and its driver wouldn't be hit when he fired at "an appropriate target."
Perez also has been accused of making false statements to IPRA, but he was not dismissed for those allegations, according to the Tribune, which first reported the officer's firing.
Perez told IPRA last year that he was aiming at the red car, but a Chicago Police Department lawyer was skeptical because the red car was a block and a half away when Perez fired shots.
According to an interview with an IPRA investigator obtained by Reader reporter Steve Bogira last April, Perez said, "I wasn’t shooting at the blue Chrysler, OK? I was aiming at the offending vehicle that I witnessed do the shooting."
When the investigator asked Perez: "Can you explain how is it that if you were shooting at that vehicle, you hit this other vehicle so many times?"
Perez responded, "No, I can't."
The Reader obtained this video of the shooting: