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Jury Convicts Chicago Cop Of Excessive Force For Firing 16 Shots At Car, Wounding 2 Teens

Herbert argued Monday that the officer did exactly as he was trained — to stop the threat and also protect the life of one of the teens, who was hanging from the passenger window as the car reversed.

In his closing remarks, Herbert also accused prosecutors of armchair quarterbacking the shooting, making decisions from the safety of their office about what was a tense and dangerous situation.

“They made that decision (to charge Proano) sitting at their desks, eating popcorn and watching the video, not out on the street like Officer Proano,” Herbert said.

Herbert also represents Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges in Cook County in the Laquan McDonald shooting.

Proano, a native of Ecuador, joined the Police Department in 2006 and was assigned as a beat cop in the Gresham District after graduating from the academy.

Prosecutors were not allowed to present evidence of Proano’s checkered past, including that the shooting was his third in a three-year span.

In August 2010, Proano shot and wounded a 20-year-old woman in the 700 block of West 91st Street, according to a Tribune database of police shootings from 2010 to 2015.

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 claimed Husband had tried to pull a gun.

Proano was not only cleared by the city’s much-maligned police oversight agency for Husband’s shooting but was awarded a department commendation for valor, records show.

In November 2015, a Cook County jury found Husband’s shooting unjustified, awarding his mother $3.5 million in damages, but a judge overturned the verdict based on a legal problem with the decision. That ruling is being appealed.

 

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