Emmett Farmer has spent six years hoping to see former Chicago Police Officer Gildardo Sierra face criminal charges for shooting his son Flint Farmer.
In that time, state and federal prosecutors, and the CPD and Independent Police Review Authority all have cleared Sierra of wrongdoing in the 2011 shooting— as well as two other on-duty shootings in which Sierra had pulled the trigger during a six-month span.
But in the last 18 months, Emmett Farmer also has seen a new administration at IPRA reverse the ruling in his son’s shooting, a new State’s Attorney take office and special prosecutors take over two cases involving the shooting of Laquan McDonald by a CPD officer.
Friday, Emmett Farmer said he is hoping a special prosecutor will make his son’s case the latest police shooting to get renewed scrutiny from authorities.
“I’m just hoping (the State’s Attorney’s Office will) just have a change of heart,” Emmett Farmer said after a brief hearing on his request that Cook County’s top Criminal Court judge appoint a special prosecutor.
“If they don’t want to do something, either step back for a special prosecutor, or indict.”
Emmett Farmer will wait at least another two weeks for action in his son’s case. A scheduling error meant that Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr., chief of the Criminal Division, was unavailable for Friday’s hearing. The case has been rescheduled for Sept. 18.
Sierra fired 16 times at Flint Farmer, after he responded to a domestic violence call from Flint Farmer’s girlfriend, striking him seven times, according to documents. The fatal final three shots came as Sierra stood over the 29-year-old fallen man on a parkway, records show.
Sierra claims he mistook Flint Farmer’s cell phone for a gun when responding. That January, Sierra and his partner also fired on Darius Pinex, killing Pinex, and Sierra wounded a 19-year-0ld man in an on-duty shooting three months before he shot and killed Flint Farmer.
The city has paid out $7.5 million to settle lawsuits in the two fatal shootings, including a $4.1 million payout to the Farmer family.
Emmett Farmer’s petition to the court notes that State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said during her campaign that she supported the appointment of special prosecutors to handle police shootings, because of the close relationship between her office and police agencies.
Her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, brought murder charges against Jason Van Dyke for McDonald’s shooting, then handed the case off to a special prosecutor.
Former Judge Patricia Brown Holmes was appointed as special prosecutor to probe the CPD’s handling of the investigation of the McDonald shooting, and has announced conspiracy charges against three other officers.