clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

COPA recommends firing Chicago police officer over 2010 shooting of boyhood friend

Michael LaPorta was permanently disabled after he was wounded with Officer Patrick Kelly’s gun.

Michael D. LaPorta enters the Dirksen Federal Courthouse Tuesday. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times
A new report concludes that Chicago Police Officer Patrick Kelly should be fired for shooting boyhood friend Michael LaPorta, seen here in 2017, and then lying about the incident. LaPorta sued Kelly and the city, winning a $44.7 million verdict in 2017. | Chicago Sun-Times file photo.

A Chicago police officer who for years denied shooting a boyhood friend — leaving the friend with devastating injuries — should lose his job because he repeatedly lied about the January 2010 incident, a new report concluded.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, in a report obtained by CBS Chicago, concludes Officer Patrick Kelly made “multiple objectively false statements” about the incident through the years.

“Based on a review of the available evidence, it is more probably true than not that Officer Kelly shot [Michael LaPorta] without justification on Jan. 12, 2010, in violation of the Chicago Police Department’s rules and regulations,” the report states.

The report cites “new evidence” from several attorneys and an audit of the original investigation. Among other things, the report said Kelly lied when he claimed he was not intoxicated the night of the shooting — statements contradicted by eye witnesses. Kelly has previously said he saw LaPorta point the gun to his own head, but LaPorta has denied being suicidal. The COPA report notes that while LaPorta and Kelly were “ojectively intoxicated” at the time, Kelly’s description of what happened doesn’t match the physical evidence.

A 2012 investigation by the organization replaced by COPA two years ago, the Independent Police Review Authority, was unable to determine whether Kelly shot LaPorta or if the officer gave false statements based.

In 2017, a federal civil jury awarded LaPorta $47.7 million, determining that Kelly shot his friend and that he misled investigators. The COPA report cites numerous court depositions from that case in reaching its conclusions.

Both a spokesman for the city’s Law Department and the police department declined comment Monday.