Marco Proano, the Chicago police officer who was recorded by a dash cam shooting at a car full of teenagers in December 2013, has now been indicted for civil rights violations. He stands accused of using unreasonable force against two of those teenagers, both of whom were injured in the shooting.
As was reported last year by CopBlock Network Contributor , the dash camera footage of that shooting only came to light almost two years later when an ex-judge leaked it to the public. In doing so, retired Cook County Judge Andrew Berman described the video as “the most disturbing thing he has seen in his 35 years in the Windy City court system.” (That says a lot when you are discussing violence in Chicago.) Which of course means that not one single one of the Good Cops in the video or who later watched the video and then decided to try and make sure it never saw the light of day again did anything to prevent that Bad Apple from spoiling the bunch.
Watching the video, it could not be more obvious that the teens represented no danger whatsoever to Officer Proano (or any other police on the scene) as they backed away from him. In fact, the video shows another car arrive at a nearby house and then back up out of the area shortly before the shooting. If anything, Proano endangered those innocent bystanders by shooting a dozen shots at the teens while they were in the same general area as them.
The teens had only been stopped for speeding, but the car they were in was later determined to be stolen. However, the one teen charged with possession of a stolen vehicle subsequently was acquitted of the charges.
The video shows Proano shooting multiple times at the vehicle as the driver tries to back away. The car then hits a streetlight before one injured teen stumbles out.
Police had pulled over the car with six teens for speeding, according to CNN affiliate WLS. One teen was wounded in the shoulder, the other in his hip and heel.
The victims suffered bodily injuries because of “unreasonable force by a police officer,” according to the indictment.
“When a police officer uses unreasonable force, it has a harmful effect on not only the victims, but also the public, who lose faith and confidence in law enforcement,” said Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
He said his office will continue to “vigorously” pursue civil right prosecutions of police officers to “strengthen trust in the police.”
The Chicago police department said it is fully cooperating with the US attorney’s office and has “zero tolerance for proven misconduct.”
As is noted in the full Fox 6 article, Officer Proano was finally fired after the video became public. Also, taxpayers had to bail out the Chicago Police Department once again, as a result of his actions. The two teens shot during the incident received a $360,000 settlement.