Police Board votes to fire cop who shot friend after night of drinking

In Thursday’s 8-0 vote, the Police Board ruled that Officer Patrick Kelly “pulled the trigger” in a shooting over a decade ago that left his friend, Michael LaPorta, permanently disabled.


Chicago Police Officer Patrick Kelly enters the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on Oct. 17, 2017.

James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Members of the Chicago Police Board voted Thursday to fire a troubled officer who shot his close friend while off-duty and then lied about what happened.

In the 8-0 vote, the Police Board ruled that Officer Patrick Kelly “pulled the trigger” in a shooting over a decade ago that left his friend Michael LaPorta permanently disabled.

Kelly was off-duty when he and LaPorta hit a pair of bars and returned to his home in the early morning hours of Jan. 12, 2010, the board said in a written ruling. LaPorta testified that an argument then arose over Kelly “yelling at and hitting his dog.” The board ruled that Kelly ultimately fired his service weapon, striking LaPorta in the head.

Kelly later called 911 and falsely claimed that LaPorta had committed suicide before realizing he was still breathing, according to the board, which also concluded that Kelly lied about the shooting during a subsequent interview.

A federal jury in 2017 found that Kelly shot LaPorta under similar circumstances and hit City Hall with a hefty $44.7 million verdict. However, the federal appellate court later overturned that massive judgment in February, noting that Kelly “was not acting as a Chicago police officer but as a private citizen” when LaPorta was shot.

On Thursday, LaPorta’s attorney, Antonio Romanucci, called the Police Board’s ruling “a small measure of justice” for his client “and a solid decision for the residents of Chicago.” Still, Romanucci slammed the city for not acting sooner to address Kelly’s “years and years of egregious and violent behavior.”


Michael LaPorta, with his mom, Patti, listens as his attorney speaks to reporters Friday about his civil rights case against Chicago Police Officer Patrick Kelly.

Rich Hein/Sun-Times file photo

Kelly, who had been suspended without pay as recently as February, has faced 25 allegations related to his police work and 62 use of force reports, according to the Invisible Institute. In 2017, the city settled for $500,000 in another lawsuit brought by a woman who said she suffered a miscarriage after Kelly used a Taser on her three times in 2013.

“Had the CPD implemented an early warning system, Kelly easily would have been identified as a problem officer and not have been allowed to shoot Michael LaPorta,” said Romanucci. “The real focus should remain on the tragic and life-changing impact Kelly’s violence had on his former best friend, Michael LaPorta, who will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair because Kelly shot him in the head.”

Kelly’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Latest
El índice de positividad a la prueba del COVID-19 en Chicago durante la semana que finalizó el 19 de julio fue del 9.8%, por encima del 7.6% de la semana pasada. Las hospitalizaciones también han aumentado, pero no al mismo ritmo, según las autoridades.
La campaña de Harris llamó al gobernador para conversar sobre el puesto número 2 el miércoles, dijo una fuente al Sun-Times. “Sería reacio a hacer un cambio, pero sería difícil resistirse a una llamada y a ser considerado si la candidata me llamara para preguntarme si quiero ser considerado para la vicepresidencia”, dijo Pritzker a CNN.
El deporte y el juego complementan el aprendizaje en los salones de clase. Las escuelas no deberían tener que recortarlos a causa del déficit de las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago.
The Democratic National Convention takes place Aug. 19-22, but street closings and public transit detours begin days earlier as authorities prepare the security areas around them.
Preliminary information indicates a stray bullet shot from outside entered the home in the 1500 block of Cherokee Drive and struck the girl, according to the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.