A Chicago cop that was filmed firing into a car full of teenagers in 2013, injuring two of them, has been indicted on federal civil rights charges.
U.S. prosecutors said Friday that officer Marco Proano was charged in the two-count indictment handed down in U.S. District Court in Chicago, with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.
The two-page indictment includes few details of the Dec. 22, 2013 incident but according to a lawsuit filed by three of the teens’ mothers, the boys were riding in a car that was stopped by two officers near 95th and LaSalle streets when one passenger fled.
Dash-cam video shows Proano walking toward the vehicle with his gun drawn before he backs away as the driver puts the car in reverse. Proano then raises his gun with both hands and fires more than a dozen shots.
One of the teens was shot in the shoulder and grazed on his forehead and cheek and another was shot in his left hip and right heel, the lawsuit said. A third teen was taken to the ground by one of the officers, causing an injury to his right eye.
Watch the raw footage:
Chicago police said at the time that officers stopped the car because they thought it was stolen. They said the driver had ran off and someone else jumped in the driver’s seat as a passenger was attempting to get out of the back seat.
An officer “worried about the safety of the individual trying to get out of the car” then opened fire, police said as the car began dragging the passenger in the back seat.
Consequently however, the city agreed to settle the lawsuit brought by the mothers of the teens for $360,000 – and federal authorities made the decision on Thursday to prosecute Proano. He is currently free on $10,000 bond and faces an arraignment on his charges on Sept. 22.
“When a police officer uses unreasonable force, it has a harmful effect on not only the victims, but also the public, who lose faith and confidence in law enforcement,” U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said.
“Our office will continue to independently and vigorously pursue civil rights prosecutions to hold officers accountable and strengthen trust in the police.”