Chicago police officer acquitted in self-defense shooting of unarmed man at Red Line station

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A Chicago judge acquitted a police officer who shot an unarmed man in Chicago at the CTA’s Red Line Grand station in 2020. 

The officer, Melvina Bogard, said she shot Ariel Roman strictly out of self-defense. Roman’s attorney argued that Bogard’s claim “completely contradicts the clear video evidence.” 

However, presiding Judge Joseph Claps did not feel that Roman was credible on the stand. 

According to prosecutors, it was Bogard’s partner, officer Bernard Butler, who had told Bogard to “shoot” Roman, who was hit in the hip and buttocks.

Roman was charged with drug violations and resisting arrest, but both charges were dropped. 

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Tim Grace, Bogard’s lawyer, said Roman refused to comply with orders from the officers, while having “enough cocaine” in his system to put down a horse. Roman also pushed Bogard and Butler to the edge of the platform after bending their handcuffs. 

Roman refused to hand over his ID when prompted by the officers, saying his reason for ignoring their demands was due to his anxiety, as well as a fellow commuter pestering him.

Bogard is an active member of her church and comes from a family of police officers. Her mother recently retired from the Chicago Police Department after 25 years. 

Hired in 2017, Bogard has never been disciplined as an officer.

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