Federal prosecutors Monday asked for an eight-year prison sentence for a veteran Chicago Police officer convicted earlier this year of using unreasonable force when he wounded two teenagers in an on-duty shooting.
Officer Marco Proano fired 16 shots in nine seconds at a stolen Toyota Avalon full of teenagers at 95th and LaSalle in December 2013. The shooting was caught on camera, and jurors took less than four hours to find him guilty in August of two civil rights violations.
Now, the feds have asked for a hefty prison sentence while tension remains high between Chicago Police and the communities they serve. In a memo filed Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgia Alexakis noted that Proano “could have killed each and every one of those passengers.”
“By sheer chance, his bullets struck only two of the passengers,” Alexakis wrote, “and through another stroke of luck for (Proano), those passengers survived.”
Meanwhile, Proano has taken no responsibility and has shown no remorse for what happened, the prosecutor wrote. Proano has even lamented to court officials “that he felt a sense of ‘betrayal’ because he served the community for many years, and is now ‘left out in the cold.’”
Responding to the feds’ recommendation, Proano’s attorney Dan Herbert asked he be given three years in prison and a $3,000 fine — the minimum sentence. Herbert also asked that his surrender date be set in January 2018 “so he can spend the holidays with his wife, three children, and the rest of his family.”
Herbert said prosecutors were trying to “ride the wave of antipolice sentiment” in asking for an eight-year sentence and that Proano was “somewhat of a scapegoat in this case.”
Proano’s sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 20.
CPD has sought to fire Proano, but he remains on the force for now, Alexakis noted.
When Proano arrived at 95th and LaSalle on Dec. 22, 2013, the driver of a car full of teens had fled. A BB gun later fell out of the car, and Proano watched as the car suddenly began to reverse with one teen hanging out of a window. Another teen had lunged forward from the back seat, thrown the car into reverse and pushed the gas pedal with his hands. No one was in the vehicle’s path.
Proano can be seen in dashcam video stepping forward, holding his gun sideways. Seconds later, he steps backward as the car reverses into view. Proano then lifts his gun again with both hands, upright, and a flash can be seen as he appears to open fire.
Proano has said he pulled the trigger to protect the teen hanging out the window.
Contributing: Sam Charles