In the dashcam video below, Chicago police officer Marco Proano holds his gun gangsta style before firing 16 rounds into a stolen car, wounding two of the four teens inside the vehicle. The incident went down in December of 2013. In August of this year, a jury of Officer Proano’s peers found him guilty of two felony counts of using excessive force in violating the victims’ civil rights. His lawyer’s defense [via chicagotribune.com] beggars belief . . .
Proano did not testify in his own defense. [Proano’s attorney Daniel Herbert] argued that the officer did exactly as he was trained to stop the threat and also protect the life of one of the teens, whom he said was hanging from a passenger window as the car reversed.
He had to shoot the teen to protect him. Got it.
Herbert also argued that the federal prosecutor was making his client into “somewhat of a scapegoat” for the anti-cop fervor that followed the 2014 death of Laquan McDonald. Speaking of prior history that the jury wasn’t allowed to consider . . .
Records show the 2013 incident was Proano’s third on-duty shooting in three years. In 2010, he was one of five officers who opened fire on a car after a chase and crash in the 700 block of West 91st Street. The driver — 32-year-old Garfield King, a convicted felon — was killed, according to a database of police-involved shootings compiled by the Chicago Tribune. Proano, meanwhile, fired five rounds into the vehicle, wounding a 19-year old woman riding in the passenger seat of King’s car.
Less than a year later, in July 2011, Proano fatally shot 19-year-old Niko Husband at close range during a struggle as police tried to break up an unruly dance party on the South Side. Proano said Husband had tried to pull a gun.
Proano was cleared in both shootings by the now-defunct Independent Police Review Authority, records show. He was also given a superintendent’s award of valor for Husband’s shooting, which Herbert said in his filing is granted for acts of “outstanding bravery or heroism.”
A Cook County jury later ruled the shooting of Husband was unjustified and awarded his mother $3.5 million in damages. But the judge overseeing the case set aside the jury’s verdict, a ruling that’s being appealed.
Officer Proano’s sentencing is due today. He faces up to eight years in jail (down from a potential 16). No matter what the sentence, the Chicago police department will finally be able to terminate his employment, if not his pension and benefits.