Chicago police officer, sergeant accused of shooting an unarmed man in Pilsen in July

Chicago (CBS) – Both a Chicago police officer and a sergeant face criminal charges after Cook County prosecutors said they shot an unarmed man in July in Pilsen.

Chicago police earlier described the July 22 incident at 18th Street and Morgan Street as a shootout, but Cook County District Attorney Kim Fox said Friday that the two accused officers were the first to shoot, and they had no justification for the 23 shooting. He is a year old who was shot.

This issue was turned upside down by surveillance video.

Chicago Police Sgt. Christopher Lyakopoulos, 43, and Officer Robin Reynuso, 42, face a charge of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and official misconduct.

Bail is set at $25,000 each, which means they have to release them from custody at $2,500. Both Lyakopoulos and Reynoso were released from prison on Friday evening.

They were also ordered to surrender their firearms and the firearms owners’ identification cards.

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Chicago Police Sgt. Christopher Lyakopoulos (left) and Officer Robin Reynuso (right) are accused of shooting an unarmed man in the Pilsen neighborhood on July 22, 2022.

Chicago Police


Both officers were assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Unit, and were relieved of police powers. They surrendered on Thursday evening. Fox said they face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Just before 7 a.m. on July 22, two officers from the Major Incident Investigation Unit were heading to the police academy for training, police said, when they spotted a group of four people wearing masks hanging out outside a closed store near 18th Street and Morgan Street. .

Police said that when an officer identified himself as a law enforcement official, a member of the group pulled out a pistol and began shooting, prompting the officers to return fire.

“They were masked, apparently armed, and as soon as our officer identified himself as a police officer, they began to draw a pistol and shoot our officers, trying to kill them,” Police Sopt said. David Brown said at the time.

After the initial exchange of fire, the two officers got out of their car and the shooter escaped, continuing to shoot the officers, police said.

However, Fox said a review of the evidence in the case contradicts the officers’ claims, and shows that Lyakopoulos and Renoso fired first.

“The officers involved in this incident were not provoked or justified to shoot the unarmed victim during this incident. The evidence does not support the use of lethal force related to the shooting of the unarmed victim, and it was not lawful,” Fox said. “We cannot ignore or stand up for unjustified violence, even at the hands of those who have sworn to serve and protect our communities.”


Kim Foxx announces charges against two CPD officers in Pilsen shooting

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Alyssa Janicki, assistant attorney general for the State Department, said at the officer bond hearing on Friday afternoon, after Lyakopoulos and Renoso stopped in to question a group of men they spotted outside some closed shops near 18, and Morgan asked them what they had been doing there, 23 years ago. An old and juvenile man began to walk toward the passenger side of the unmarked Officers Division vehicle.

While the juvenile wore a chest bag with a gun on it, the 23-year-old was defenseless; According to Janicki, he holds a cell phone and a bottle of wine in one hand and his other hand is empty.

After approaching the officers’ car, the event turned and ran away, while the 23-year-old showed the officers his hands. Janicki said that when Reynoso and Lyakopoulos pointed their guns out of the passenger’s side window and started shooting.

Janicki said the 23-year-old was shot in the back and leg and fell to the ground. The event continued running east on 18th Street, before firing several shots at the officers, who fired several more.

A pedestrian walking behind the event at the time suffered a grazing wound, according to Janicki. Neither the juvenile nor the officers were injured.

Prosecutors said the 23-year-old man who was shot was unarmed and had never fired at police.

“The victim, who was injured in this incident, was not in possession of a weapon, and the victim did not fire a weapon at these two officers,” Fox said.

This 23-year-old man, Miguel Medina, filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Yacopoulos.

“The officers involved in this incident were not provoked or justified to shoot the unarmed victim in this incident,” Fox said.

During an interview with investigators on the day of the shooting, officers told investigators they only opened fire after the young man shot them, according to Janicki. The next day, in an interview with both prosecutors and investigators, they said they did not know who fired first, but said the boy pointed his gun at them before any shots were fired.

Several days later, video evidence obtained during the investigation contradicted the officers’ accounts, showing a 23-year-old man standing in the street near the passenger’s open side car window, hands visible, and the juvenile running off the road. The car when the officers started shooting.


CPD officer, sergeant charged in July with shootings in Pilsen

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Defense attorneys disputed the prosecution’s account of the shooting, saying the 23-year-old pointed at the officers with his hand as he and the juvenile walked toward the car, and claimed it was unclear from the surveillance video who fired first.

“It’s not clear who fired first…but it doesn’t matter if he’s pointing the gun at him,” said Reynoso’s defense attorney Brian Sexton.

Sexton also accused the public prosecutor of moving too quickly in bringing charges before the Civil Police Accountability Office completed its review of the case.

“The state jumped on the shark,” Sexton said.

According to Fox, the officers involved did not have cameras. Video evidence in the case came from surveillance cameras near the scene.

Sexton said he wanted a protective order to prevent COPA from releasing this video so that the jury pool was not tainted.

Fox said an investigation was still open regarding the incident, for which he has not been charged.

The Civil Police Accountability Office is also investigating the officers’ use of force, but it has not announced any findings yet.

Lyakopoulos was a Chicago police officer for 21 years. During that time, 10 complaints were filed against him, but none were substantiated – and he was never disciplined.

Renoso has been in this force for 19 years. Four complaints have been filed against him, none of which have been proven like his partner.

The video at the center of the issue is expected to be released by COPA as early as next week.

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