Chicago police officer charged with battery, official misconduct in on-duty Red Line shooting

Chicago police officer charged with battery, official
misconduct in on-duty Red Line shooting 1

A Chicago police officer was released on her own recognizance Thursday for shooting and wounding a man while on-duty at the CTA Red Line’s Grand station.

Officer Melvina Bogard, 32, is facing aggravated battery with a firearm and official misconduct for the Feb. 28, 2020 shooting.

In her order, Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz said she neither found Bogard to be a danger to the community, nor at risk of not showing up for her court hearings.

The state’s attorneys office, which announced the charges against Bogard Thursday, has not filed charges against Officer Bernard Butler, who was with Bogard at the time of the shooting and was recorded by a bystander yelling “shoot him” before Bogard opened fire.

Shortly after 4 p.m. that day, Bogard and Butler tried to arrest 34-year-old Ariel Roman after he was seen walking between cars on a northbound Red Line train.

The officers followed Roman when he got off the train and tried taking Roman into custody at the bottom of a set of stairs leading up to the station’s main concourse.

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Roman struggled with Butler and was eventually able to stand up. Video footage showed two deployed stun guns on the station’s floor.

As Roman ran up the stairs, Butler repeatedly yelled for Bogard to fire, the video shows. Bogard shot once at Roman when he was a few feet away from her and then again when he neared the top of the stairs.

Roman was shot in the hip and buttocks, according to his attorneys Andrew M. Stroth and Greg Kulis, who filed a lawsuit against the city and both officers.

“Based on his injuries, his life will never be the same,” Stroth and Kulis said in a statement Thursday.

“The State’s Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI conducted a comprehensive investigation and today’s charges are consistent with the unjustified actions of these officers. Ariel Roman was unarmed, did not present a threat and was shot as he ran away,” the statement also said.

Roman was taken into custody after the shooting and faced resisting arrest and narcotics charges, which were later dropped by the state’s attorney’s office.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability submitted findings from its investigation to Supt. David Brown in October. The Chicago Police Department later moved to fire both officers.

Federal authorities also have opened a criminal investigation into the high-profile police shooting.

“The case is currently pending before the Chicago Police Board,” police spokesman Tom Ahern said in a statement. “The officer was relieved of police powers in March 2020.”

Bogard is expected back in court on Aug. 18.

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