Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has moved to fire an officer who shot and killed a man during a South Side traffic stop in 2011, and then allegedly lied about the circumstances to investigators.
Johnson filed the motion to terminate on Aug. 8, 2017, six months after the Independent Police Review Authority recommended Officer Raoul Mosqueda for firing in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Darius Pinex on Jan. 7, 2011.
The case now falls before the Chicago Police Board, which has the final say on police firings.
Mosqueda, who was stripped of police powers in February and suspended without pay over the weekend, could not immediately be reached for comment.
In February, IPRA released a report saying Mosqueda provided false testimony about the Englewood shooting several times throughout the investigation, and in subsequent depositions and trial.
Though IPRA found Mosqueda lied, the agency ultimately ruled that “there is insufficient evidence in the record to prove by a preponderance that [Mosqueda’s] use of deadly force was excessive and outside of the Use of Force Model,” the report said.
Mosqueda said he and his partner, Gildardo Sierra, curbed the Oldsmobile Aurora in the 1100 block of West Marquette because the car matched the description broadcast over police radio of a car possibly involved in a shooting that other officers tried to stop about three hours earlier in a different police district.
The officers said they fired at Pinex, the driver, because he tried to drive away and was endangering their lives. Pinex was shot four times, and he died at the scene.
In trial and deposition testimony, Sierra said that although he didn’t see Pinex’s vehicle commit any traffic violations before it was curbed, Mosqueda “was adamant that the vehicle was wanted for a shooting from another district,” according to IPRA’s findings.
Though the agency did ultimately decide Mosqueda should lose his job for lying, some of his questionable testimony could not be definitively proven false, IPRA said. “[Mosqueda’s] inability to definitively recall [Sierra’s] position in relation to [Pinex’s] vehicle, although dissatisfying and perhaps unconvincing, is still plausible in light of the quickly evolving tense circumstances in which these kinds of incidents unfold.”
Sierra resigned from the department in August 2015. Pinex’s mother, Gloria Pinex, filed a federal lawsuit against the city and two officers.
City attorneys had previously said police radio dispatch recordings from the night of the shooting would have been “recycled a long time ago,” but a recording later surfaced.
Confronted with the recording, Mosqueda admitted it did not contain the specifics about the car he initially claimed it did.
A jury concluded that the two officers were justified in their actions, but in January 2016, U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang reversed that decision, saying a lawyer for the city, Jordan Marsh, intentionally misled the court when he concealed the recording. Marsh later resigned.