The Chicago Police Department is moving to fire two officers involved in the shooting of an unarmed man last year on a busy CTA Red Line platform.
Administrative charges were filed Tuesday against Officers Melvina Bogard and Bernard Butler that allege the shooting was unnecessary and that the officers engaged in an “unjustified action.”
Federal authorities also have opened a criminal investigation into the high-profile police shooting.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability completed its investigation in October and sent its recommendations to police Supt. David Brown.
The officers confronted Ariel Roman after they saw him walking between train cars — in violation of CTA rules — on a northbound Red Line train.
A bystander’s video of the officers struggling with Roman before Butler tells Bogard to “shoot him” quickly drew harsh criticism.
An evidentiary hearing will be held in the case before it is ultimately decided by the Chicago Police Board, a process that can take several years.
The officers, who were both assigned to the CPD Mass Transit Unit, are also accused of violating police rules that prohibit “disrespect or maltreatment of any person” and “incompetency or inefficiency in the performance of duty.”
Shortly after 4 p.m. Feb. 28, 2020, Bogard shot Roman, 34, on a platform of the Grand Red Line station.
The Grand station is among the busiest in the CTA rail system, and the shooting occurred just as Friday evening rush was beginning.
Roman got off the train at Grand and was followed by the two officers. Bogard and Butler tried to arrest him at the foot of the stairs leading up to the station’s main concourse, but Roman struggled with Butler and was eventually able to stand up. Video footage showed two deployed stun guns laying on the station’s floor.
Following her partner’s order to open fire, Bogard fired once at Roman while he stood just a few feet away at the base of the stairs. Roman ran up the escalator, and Bogard fired again.
Roman was wounded once in the hip and once in the buttocks. He was taken into custody and briefly faced resisting arrest and narcotics charges. The charges were later dropped. Roman has undergone several surgeries, and one of the bullets is still lodged near his sciatic nerve, according to his attorneys.
Less than two weeks after he was shot, Roman filed a federal lawsuit against Bogard, Butler and the city.