• Andrew Finein

Chicago Police Officer Indicted in Federal Court

Photo courtesy of Chicago Sun Times

A Chicago police officer has been charged in federal court for violating the civil rights of two teenagers in 2013 when he shot and injured them.

Officer Marco Proano, 41, has been convicted of two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law for allegedly using unreasonable force with a dangerous weapon, according to a written statement by U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon. In a prior civil court hearing, the city of Chicago agreed to a $360,000 settlement to those who were injured. The police union however still supports Proano’s decision to use deadly force.

In the three-minute long dash-cam video, Proano is seen walking towards the suspect’s vehicle with his weapon drawn. The vehicle then reverses, go away from the officer, at which point Proano discharged his firearm. According to the lawsuit, Proano fired over a dozen shots into the teenager-filled vehicle. One of the teenagers was struck directly in the shoulder with one bullet and grazed on the forehead by another bullet. Another teen was hit in his left him and right heel.

This isn’t the first time Proano’s actions have caused controversy. Earlier in his 10-year career, Proano shot and killed 19-year-old Niko Husband. According to the autopsy report, Husband was shot twice in the chest from about two feet away, and then a third time from point-blank. The city’s police oversight agency cleared Proano of any wrongdoing.

These indictment charges for the 2013 shooting marks the first time in 15 years where federal authorities have charged a Chicago police officer for a shooting. A recent report published by the Chicago Tribune shows Chicago police have shot 702 people within the past 15 years, killing 215 of them, yet no federal charges were ever filed against the officer.

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