Chicago, IL – A female Chicago police officer has been charged for shooting a suspect in the Grand Red Line train station in 2020.
The incident occurred just after 4 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2020 after Chicago Police Officers Melvina Bogard and Bernard Butler saw a man moving between cars on the train, which is prohibited, WBBM reported.
Surveillance camera videos showed that the officers confronted 34-year-old Ariel Roman on the train, but he walked away from them.
The video showed Officer Bogard followed him and told him to get off the train, WBBM reported.
Bystander cell phone video showed what happened after Roman got off the train and the officers tried to take him into custody.
They followed him to the bottom of a staircase leading up to the main concourse and then tried to arrest him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The video showed Roman resisted arrest and officers took him to the ground to try and subdue him, but he kept fighting.
Officers yelled at Roman to “stop resisting” more than 10 times before they both deployed their Tasers, WBBM reported.
One of the officers also deployed pepper spray.
But the Tasers weren’t effective and Roman broke free and got to his feet again, WBBM reported.
“Sir, put your f–king hands down!” Officer Bogard yelled, stepping back.
“Shoot him!” Officer Butler ordered her.
Video showed Officer Bogard drew her weapon and shot Roman a few seconds later, WBBM reported.
Roman fled after the first gunshot and ran up the escalator with the officers hot on his heels, the video showed.
Prosecutors said a second gunshot was fired off camera, WBBM reported.
Surveillance video from inside the train station showed a chaotic scene with passengers running for cover and trying to flee the area as the gunfire erupted.
An investigation into the officer-involved shooting was conducted, and after it was concluded, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said he thought both officers should be fired, WBBM reported.
Superintendent Brown said Officer Bogard broke the police department’s Taser policy and violated department rules when she shot Roman.
The superintendent said the suspect had posed no deadly threat to her or anybody else, WBBM reported.
Superintendent Brown also accused Officer Butler of breaking the department’s Taser policy and his failure to use approved de-escalation techniques to take Roman into custody.
He cited Officer Butler for putting Roman in danger when he grabbed him on the edge of a subway platform, WBBM reported.
The superintendent said he wanted to fire both officers but their fates lie in the hands of the Police Board, which may hold hearings before making the move.
Roman was charged with resisting arrest but the charges were ultimately dropped.
He underwent a series of surgeries to repair damage from the gunshot wounds to his stomach and back, WBBM reported.
Roman has since filed a lawsuit against the city and the police officers for excessive force.
His attorney, Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, said her client suffered from an anxiety disorder and was having a panic attack when he walked between trains, WBBM reported.
“The officers – who are trained – should have relaxed, and chilled, and taken time, called backup. The notion that an officer would shoot her service revolver twice is astonishing,” Andrew Stroth, another attorney for Roman, said last year.
University of Pittsburgh law professor David A. Harris agreed with the superintendent’s assessment, WBBM reported.
“The law simply doesn’t allow what I saw in the video,” Harris said.
“Based on his injuries, his life will never be the same,” attorneys for Roman said in a statement on Aug. 5.
“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 read.
Federal authorities have also opened a criminal investigation into the shooting, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Officer Bogard was charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct for shooting Roman.
She turned herself in to authorities and was expected to appear in court on Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
You can see video of the incident below. Warning – Graphic Content: