Chicago police officer who shot unarmed man acquitted
Officer Gildardo Sierra will not be charged in the shooting death of Flint Farmer. After reviewing video footage of the incident, Cook County prosecutors said that the officer “reasonably mistook a cellphone for a gun pointed at him on a darkened street.
Sierra admitted that he drank multiple beers before reporting to work on the night of the shooting.
The death of Flint Farmer in June 2011 was the third shooting — the second fatal shooting — in six months by Officer Gildardo Sierra, a patrolman in the Englewood district. It was so disturbing that it prompted police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to tell the Tribune that he considered the shooting a “big problem” and to acknowledge the department had erred by allowing Sierra back on the street given the previous shootings.
The shooting occurred shortly before 2 a.m. on June 7 when Sierra and a partner responded to a call of a domestic disturbance allegedly involving Farmer and his girlfriend in the 6200 block of South Honore Avenue.
When police arrived, Farmer fled to South Wolcott Avenue, one street west. He got as far as the parkway when Sierra reportedly yelled at him. Prosecutors said Farmer, 29 and unemployed, pointed his burgundy cellphone at Sierra, prompting the officer to fire all 16 rounds from his handgun.
In December 2012, the city of Chicago settled a lawsuit brought by Farmer’s estate for $4.1 million. During the settlement the city did not admit to any wrongdoing by OFficer Sierra in the incident. Cook County prosecutors said that although he fired his weapon 16 times, “Sierra had reason to believe that Farmer was armed and posed a threat of ‘great bodily harm.”
Farmer was hit by 7 of the bullets, three of them striking him in the back. In the video, Sierra can be seen standing over Farmer, appearing to shoot him while he was already down.
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