The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the conduct of a Chicago police officer. Gildardo Sierra, a nine year veteran of the force, has been involved in three shootings since January of this year.
Two of the three of those incidents proved to be fatal.
The most recent incident happened earlier this year on the morning of June 7. The Chicago PD was dispatched to a domestic violence call involving Flint Farmer. Since that morning, a video taken from the dashboard camera of a patrol car has surfaced in which Officer Sierra is depicted firing three rounds into the back of Farmer; this is what the investigation focuses on.
The wounded Farmer was already laying face down on the grass by the curb of a South Side neighborhood after he had already been shot four times by the Chicago PD.
Several reports say Sierra fired 16 rounds at Farmer, and according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, the three shots to the back were the ones that killed Farmer.
According to Officer Sierra, he suspected Farmer was holding a firearm. The Chicago Tribune, however, reported that the gun Sierra thought Farmer was carrying turned out to be a cell phone.
Farmer had a history of domestic abuse and had been arrested for it in the past, but according to Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, it was a situation that could have been avoided.
“We should’ve had him off the street so that he was not in that particular environment and that problematic type of scenario,” McCarthy told the press. McCarthy, who took over the department in May, said that the department management has failed in this particular case. “There is no mechanism to review how many shootings someone was in and what their assignment is and how they are feeling,” McCarthy stated.
Although McCarthy thinks Sierra’s situation is a “big problem,” the Chicago PD has ruled the shooting as a justified homicide.
Farmer’s family couldn’t disagree more and have filed a federal suit against Officer Sierra, Chicago Police Department and the city of Chicago.
As of now Sierra’s police authority has been removed and claims the video shows “only part of the incident.”
NBC Chicago adds that the FBI isn’t the only group looking into the matter. The Independent Police Review Authority has joined in with an investigation, as well.
According to city reports, 51 police shootings have taken place in the first nine months of 2011; this exceeds the 44 reported last year according to the AP.