Chicago Officer Could Face 8-Year Term For Shooting Into Car Full of Teenagers

CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence for a Chicago police officer who shot into a car full of teenagers in December 2013, wounding two of them. However, attorneys for Officer Marco Proano are asking for probation.

Proano was convicted in August of two counts of civil rights violations after prosecutors said he fired into the car as it backed up after being stopped for speeding.

Dashcam video shows Proano firing toward a person inside the car. Proano’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, said an officer is allowed by law to use deadly force if he believes the target poses a threat.

In a court filing Monday, prosecutors said Proano could have killed all six teenagers when he fired indiscriminately into the car.

In his filing in U.S. District Court late Tuesday, attorney Daniel Herbert says Officer Marco Proano should not be punished for alleged systemic problems in the Chicago Police Department.

In asking U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman for probation, Herbert said the married father of three had a decorated career before it was derailed amid protests against police violence. He also points to a civil rights probe by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Herbert said in the filing it was all sparked by the court-ordered release in November 2015 of video of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Herbert represents former officer Jason Van Dyke, who is charged with first-degree murder in McDonald’s death.

Proano is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 20. Chicago’s former agency that investigated Chicago police misconduct, the Independent Police Review Authority, ruled in August that the department should fire Proano. He has been on unpaid suspension since last year.

After Proano was convicted the Chicago Police Department filed termination charges against Proano, which are pending before the Chicago Police Board, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.