2 Chicago cops charged in shooting that wounded unarmed man

Sep 16, 2022, 10:25 AM | Updated: 3:04 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Two Chicago police officers face felony charges for allegedly shooting and seriously wounding an unarmed man during a July shootout on the city’s southwest side that also wounded a second man, authorities said Friday.

Sgt. Christopher Liakopoulos, 43, and Officer Ruben Reynoso, 42, have been charged with one count each of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and official misconduct, said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Foxx said the officers were relieved of their police powers on Thursday before they turned themselves in to authorities.

Foxx said both officers “are being charged with having fired their shots” that wounded an unarmed 23-year-old man — identified separately Friday through a civil court filing as Miguel Medina — on July 22 in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood. That man has since recovered and is cooperating with the investigation, she said.

“The victim who was shot and injured in this incident was not in possession of a weapon, nor did he fire a weapon at these two officers,” Foxx said during a news conference.

After the shooting, police said in a statement that two officers who had observed four people loitering in front of a closed store stopped to investigate and identified themselves as police.

Police said one of the four in the group then displayed a handgun and an exchange of gunfire ensued in which Medina suffered gunshot wounds and was transported to a hospital in serious condition.

Foxx said that based on a review of the evidence, including video surveillance footage, prosecutors believe “the officers involved in this incident did not have provocation or justification to shoot the unarmed” Medina.

“The evidence does not support the use of deadly force related to the shooting of the unarmed victim, and was not lawful,” Foxx said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Alyssa Janicki said Friday at the officers’ bond hearing that a juvenile and Medina initially approached the unmarked police vehicle when questioned by the officers.

The juvenile ran, but Medina showed both hands to the officers as Reynoso and Liakopoulos both pointed their guns out the vehicle’s passenger window and started shooting. Medina was shot in the back and leg.

The juvenile, who Janicki said had a gun in a satchel across his chest, kept running before turning and firing shots at the officers who shot back. A pedestrian near the juvenile suffered a grazing wound.

The officers were heading to a morning training course and were in plain clothes at the time of the shooting. Neither had on their police body cameras because they were going to training, Janicki said.

Prosecutors later obtained surveillance video from the area.

After the shooting, Foxx said, the two officers “made representations to legal authorities, including the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, that was directly contradicted by the videotaped evidence.”

Brian Sexton, Reynoso’s attorney, said during Friday’s hearing that his client was focused on the 17-year-old with the gun and never shot in the direction of Medina.

Sexton said that after Reynoso watched a surveillance video of the shooting, he told the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the state’s attorney’s office that he “just didn’t remember” the shooting.

Tim Grace, Liakopoulos’ attorney, told the judge that the officers were confronted “by an armed assailant who points a gun at them and eventually fires at them.”

“We are supposed to see if the police officer’s actions were objectively reasonable,” Grace said. “We don’t use 20/20 hindsight. We don’t second-guess. We don’t slow down video like the state’s attorney’s office does.”

Medina filed a federal lawsuit on Friday against Liakopoulos and the city accusing the officer of using excessive force and battery during their interaction and falsely arresting him afterward.

Medina alleges that he and others were walking when the officers drove up in police vehicle and started questioning the group. Medina says he showed his hands and began walking away when Liakopoulos fired shots at him from the vehicle, striking him several times.

Medina was treated at a hospital for his wounds and then held for several hours at a police station, though he was never charged, according to the lawsuit, which doesn’t say how much Medina is seeking and requests a jury trial.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the shooting and has a deadline of Sept. 22 to release materials related to the shooting, including videos, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

3 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

6 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

7 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

7 days ago

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump helps serve food to Texas Natio...

Associated Press

Trump receives endorsement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a visit to a US-Mexico border town

Donald Trump picked up the Texas governor’s endorsement Sunday during a visit to a U.S.-Mexico border town.

9 days ago

Eric Trump, executive vice president of Trump Organization Inc., speaks to the media as he leaves f...

Associated Press

Lawyers in Trump’s civil fraud trial are ordered to clam up about judge’s communications with staff

Eric Trump testified Friday that he was relying on accountants to ensure the accuracy of financial statements.

26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

2 Chicago cops charged in shooting that wounded unarmed man