CHICAGO — The Illinois Appellate Court has reinstated a Cook County jury’s decision to award $3.5 million to the family of a teen killed by a Chicago police officer in 2011.
The court on Tuesday ruled Judge Elizabeth Budzinski erred when she reversed the verdict on a technicality and found in favor of the city of Chicago and Officer Marco Proano.
Proano fatally shot 19-year-old Niko Husband during a struggle outside a South Side dance party. Proano and other officers were responding to a call of a person with a gun at the time.
The appellate court said the jury’s finding that Proano had a reasonable belief his life was in danger when he opened fire did not negate the verdict that the shooting was unjustified.
In 2013, Proano fired 16 shots at a carload of teens as they backed away from him in an alley. He was convicted last year of using excessive force and sentenced to five years in prison.