[WATCH] Chicago Cop Faces Sentencing For Firing 16 Shots at Car Filled With Teens

A veteran Chicago police officer faces sentencing Monday for his excessive force conviction for firing 16 times into a moving vehicle filled with teens.

Marco Proano, 42, was the first Chicago cop in memory to be convicted in federal court of criminal charges stemming from an on-duty shooting.

His attorney is seeking probation, arguing the officer should not be punished for alleged systemic problems in the department and calling him a scapegoat “sacrificed to the furor” over police misconduct.

Prosecutors, however, are seeking up to eight years in prison, saying Proano could have killed the six teens when he fired indiscriminately into a reportedly stolen Toyota.

The 11-year department veteran was convicted by a jury in August of two felony counts of using excessive force in violation of the victims’ civil rights. The December 2013 shooting was captured on video by a police dashboard camera.

In asking U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman for probation, Proano’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, said in a recent court filing that Proano had a decorated career before it was derailed amid protests against police violence and a civil rights probe by the U.S. Department of Justice — all sparked by the court-ordered release in November 2015 of video of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

The timing of Proano’s September 2016 indictment “could not have been worse for him,” Herbert wrote, adding that he should not have to “shoulder the blame” for a Police Department that the Justice Department, in its scathing report earlier this year, said has a decadeslong history of mistreating citizens.

“It would be naive to ignore the facts here and fail to recognize that Mr. Proano served as somewhat of a scapegoat in this case,” Herbert said. “The situation was at a boiling point, and Mr. Proano was sacrificed to the furor.”

But prosecutors said Proano’s actions that night, as well as his attempts to later justify the shooting, were egregious violations of his training that further undermined public trust in the police.

“(Proano) gave the community reason to doubt law enforcement’s intentions and reason to believe that it cannot have faith that law enforcement will serve all citizens equally,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Georgia Alexakis and Erika Csicsila wrote in their sentencing memo. His actions “impugned the integrity” of other officers, according to the filing.

Proano was the first officer to go to trial in a shooting case since the release of the McDonald video sparked protests and promises of systemic change from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The department is seeking to fire Proano, who was placed on unpaid suspension after he was charged more than a year ago.

During Proano’s trial, prosecutors said the dashcam video of the shooting — which unfolded in about nine seconds — showed Proano violated all the training he received at the Police Academy, including to never fire into a crowd, only fire if you can clearly see your target and stop shooting once the threat has been eliminated.

The video, played several times for jurors, showed Proano walking quickly toward the stolen Toyota within seconds of arriving at the scene while he held his gun pointed sideways in his left hand. Proano can be seen backing away briefly as the car went in reverse, away from the officer. He then raised his gun with both hands and opened fire as he walked toward the car, continuing to fire even after the car had rolled into a light pole and stopped.

For full story visit: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-cop-sentencing-excessive-force-20171117-story.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3372 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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