Skip to comments.Journey Of A Judge’s Gun From Chicago Buyback To Cicero Police Shooting
Posted on 07/28/2017 1:08:35 PM PDT by IncPen
William Stewart Boyd drove to a South Side church 13 years ago to turn over his late fathers handgun to Chicago police as part of a buyback program aimed at keeping derelict firearms off the streets.
A Cook County judge in domestic relations cases, Boyd expected the weapon to be inventoried and destroyed like thousands of others over the years. He was wrong.
Instead, the gun mysteriously turned up eight years later next to the body of a young man shot to death by a Cicero police officer. The cop with a history of discipline problems is now off the force collecting a disability pension because of post-traumatic stress from the incident.
But it is the life and times of Boyds Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, serial number J515268, that is raising new questions about potential police malfeasance that stretches across city lines.
The Chicago Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation after learning from the Better Government Association that a gun it was supposed to have destroyed instead turned up at the scene of a police shooting, the latest episode in a widespread problem with confiscated guns disappearing from police custody.
And after five years of contentious litigation in the federal civil rights case over the shooting, Cicero officials are now poised to write a $3.5 million settlement check to members of the dead mans family who claim police planted the gun to cover up an unjustified shooting. The Cicero Town Council agreed this July to approve the settlement and is expected to take a final vote soon.
Underlying both developments is a central question: How did the gun of Boyds father find its way from what was supposed to be a locked Chicago Police custody room to a tiny patch of pavement next to the body of 22-year-old Latin Counts gang member Cesar A. Munive.
Boyd, a judge for nearly 20 years, is understandably upset that his gun was involved in someones death.
Im doing the right thing and in the process, someone didnt do what they were supposed to do, Boyd said in an interview with the BGA. That calls into question the process whats happening after you turn these weapons in?
In a June 29 affidavit filed as part of a federal lawsuit in the case, Boyd detailed his history with the gun, including how he purchased it 40 years ago so his father would feel safer.
The allegations that it ended up a police throw down is one Cicero police have adamantly denied in court filings.
Munive who had a rap sheet including convictions for sexual abuse of a minor, battery and unlawful use of a weapon was shot dead by Cicero Police officer Don Garrity in a residential neighborhood on July 5, 2012, records show.
Garrity and another officer had just responded in separate patrol cars to reports of a gang fight, and spotted Munive riding a bicycle away from the police arriving at the scene.
According to reports from the investigation, Garrity said he got out of his squad car and chased Munive on foot to the northeast corner of 13th Street and South 57th Avenue.
Thats when Garrity said he saw Munive aim the gun at the windshield of the white, unmarked squad car that was driven by the other officer, Dominic Schullo. Garrity told investigators he ordered the young man to drop the gun, Munive (pictured below) refused, and the officer opened fire.
Neither Garrity nor Schullo responded to requests for comment for this report. Schullo is the son of a former Cicero police chief who served prison time for a corruption conviction.
During the investigation, Schullo backed up his colleagues story. In one interview with state police just days after the shooting, Schullo dramatically described to investigators staring straight down the barrel of the handgun in Munives left hand.
He was gonna shoot me through the window, Schullo told Cicero police. If it wasnt for Garrity, he would have shot me right through the glass!
The bullet pierced Munives right lung, according to the autopsy. As he struggled to breathe, he complained to police that it burns, records show. He died of a gunshot wound to the back, the Cook County medical examiners office ruled.
In a recent interview with the BGA, Garritys attorney Craig Tobin denied the lawsuits allegation that Cicero police planted the gun on Munive. He claimed that Munive was given the gun by another member of the Latin Counts gang.
Jon Loevy, the Munive family attorney, has a dramatically different theory, asserting that Garrity shot an unarmed man and the gun was planted by police to cover up an unjustified shooting. BGA attorney Matt Topic works for Loevys firm but has no connection to the case and was not consulted for this story.
Loevy said the guns journey clearly raised questions about what happened after Boyd handed it over to Chicago police as part of the gun buyback program.
Our guy is dead, we cant ask him, but we do know it was last seen in the possession of law enforcement, Loevy said.
Not until nearly two years after Munives death did state police ask for a federal trace of the gun. That trace, by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, identified Boyd as one who bought it from an Oak Lawn dealer in 1977.
|Don Garrity (Sun-Times)|
The Illinois State Police and Cicero each said it was the other's responsibility to investigate the history of the gun. But that didnt matter anyway because Munive had it, according to Matt Boerwinkle, a state police spokesman, who says his agency stands by its findings that Munive pointed the gun at Garrity before being shot.
"Anybody could allege anything after the fact and file a lawsuit," Boerwinkle said of the allegations the gun was planted near Munives body by police.
Based on the state police findings, the Cook County states attorneys office closed its review of the shooting with a letter that read in part: We have completed our review of the matter and found no conduct by the officer which would give rise to criminal charges.
Boyd told the BGA he was not contacted by police about the gun only by private investigators and attorneys from both sides connected to the lawsuit.
|Cook County Judge Boyd (YouTube)|
In his affidavit, Boyd described giving the gun to plainclothes Chicago police officers, who wore their badges and guns on their belts. In exchange, he was given a prepaid VISA card for less than $100.
Chicago police recover thousands of guns every year, many through buyback programs but also many that are seized during arrests. So far this year, Chicago police said they have confiscated more than 5,000 guns. And gun buybacks from 2006 to 2012 yielded more than 23,000 weapons, according to a 2013 audit of the gun buyback program by Chicagos inspector general.
Hundreds of such guns mysteriously disappeared in the past decade from police agencies nationwide from Florida to California, Alabama to Michigan, according to published reports. Suburban Chicago police departments in Harvey, Elmwood Park, and Dolton have all had guns vanish in recent years.
And long before Boyds gun disappeared from custody, a different city audit showed the Chicago Police Department lost track of more than 130 guns stored at an evidence warehouse in the 1990s, news reports show. Four guns that were stored at the warehouse were later seized during arrests.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi described the latest case as extremely abnormal and troublesome
We are opening an internal affairs investigation today to trace this gun, verify that it was taken into police custody during a turn in and investigate how it possibly ended up back on the street, he said.
Garrity left the department a little more than two years ago after he developed post-traumatic stress disorder, said Jerry Marzullo, the attorney for Ciceros Police Pension Board.
After the shooting, he was promoted from patrol officer to detective. He left making $84,707 annually, nearly $27,000 more than he did as a patrol officer. That pay hike boosted his annual disability payments to $55,000.
Cicero Town Attorney Mike Del Galdo said Garrity went on disability after depositions in the lawsuit revealed he omitted key facts about his work history when he first applied for a post with the Cicero police.
Before joining the Cicero force, Garrity resigned as a Berwyn police officer in May 2008 after he was arrested by North Riverside Police who pursued him in his own private car on an early morning high speed chase down Cermak Road.
Records show Garrity, while still on the Berwyn force, also was once investigated for violating orders by wielding a high-powered rifle during a felony traffic stop.
This police officer should not have been a police officer, said Loevy, the Munive family attorney. They are going to pay a substantial settlement as a result of this...shooting.
“William Stewart Boyd drove to a South Side church 13 years ago to turn over his late fathers handgun to Chicago police as part of a buyback program aimed at keeping derelict firearms off the streets.”
A real American patriot that guy. /s/
Hmmm. Buy back something that was never yours in the first place. Uh, I really hate that PC BS.
“And after five years of contentious litigation in the federal civil rights case over the shooting, Cicero officials are now poised to write a $3.5 million settlement check to members of the dead mans family who claim police planted the gun to cover up an unjustified shooting.”
Perhaps the most expensive S&W .38 in history.
A real American patriot that guy. /s/
In Liberal Logic Land, the judge's father is to blame for buying the gun in the first place. However, he is redeemed for his sin by his son recognizing the error and turning the icky weapon over to Trustworthy Authorities®.
And, presumably, the father reliably voted (D) these many years.
Sadly, the old man was not able to push Hillary over the top...
Guns go missing from police custody all the time.
[ Guns go missing from police custody all the time. ]
The more power you give the watchers the likely the watchers are going to be corrupt....
Who watches the watchers?
True, that point is made in the article.
But those guns aren't always turned in by judges at Chicago Police sponsored buybacks, and those guns don't appear next to dead people in questionable police-involved shootings. As the lawyer in the article points out, the last place possession was recorded was with the police...
Guns going missing from police custody is very troublesome.
Sure sounds like a throw-down piece
With Chicago there’s equal odds a corrupt insider sold it to the gang or the cops dropped it.
Funny thing is, the cops don’t need to drop pieces any more as there’s quite a bit of law supporting reasonable belief.
Nothing new here. In 1980, I was managing a gun store, and we had about 250 guns stolen. After running the list through ATF, we had two that had been reported stolen.
The odd thing was that they were both traded by a close friend of mine, who I know wasn’t a thief or criminal. I asked him where he acquired the two handguns, turns out he bought them both from a policeman in a mid-sized town next county over. You can probably figure out the rest of the story.
buy back ping
Of all things that pisses me off from this article was “The cop with a history of discipline problems is now off the force collecting a disability pension because of post-traumatic stress from the incident.”
Instead of being disciplined, he gets a Get Out of Jail Free card, along with some nice tax-free money from the taxpayers he betrayed.
“I asked him where he acquired the two handguns, turns out he bought them both from a policeman in a mid-sized town next county over. You can probably figure out the rest of the story.”
Let me spin it. Guns are stolen and someone reports it. Sometime later cops confiscate some guns off some perp. Rather than run those guns to find out where they came from, a cop makes a fast buck by selling them on the side.
I always have believed that everything isn’t destroyed after one of these scams. I am a firm believer that firearms like these wind up with connected/crooked cops. I think it’s especially true with collectors item firearms bought for a mere pittance of actual value from some unsuspecting citizen that end up in police officer’s personal collections.
Or stolen from the evidence room and sold on the black market.
...and thousands of Dremels can be heard working quietly in police evidence lockers across the country.
Yep. He lifted them off someone on a traffic stop, or whatever, traded them to my buddy, and not a damn thing happened to him.
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