CHICAGO (MCT) — A federal jury on Wednesday ruled that a Chicago police officer has to pay a 34-year-old man $3,000 after shooting at him during a 2007 confrontation outside a South Side
store, according to the 34-year-old man’s lawyer.
The jury award comes four years after Officer Darin Macon, who was off-duty during the incident, shot his gun at Andrew Richardson, striking his car, shortly after learning his ex-girlfriend went on a date with Richardson, said Richardson's lawyer, Torri Hamilton.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in 2008, named Richardson as a plaintiff while Macon and other officers were named as defendants. Macon, a 23-year veteran of the department, was the only officer found liable in the jury’s decision, according to Richardson's lawyer.
Just after midnight on Aug. 25, 2007, Richardson was sitting in his parked car outside Macon’s ex-girlfriend's home near 88th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue after the two went out on a date, according to the suit. While they talked, Macon pulled up in his car, started swearing at the woman and threatened her, the suit alleged.
As she and Macon began arguing, Richardson interrupted and told Macon he had nothing to do with the quarrel and asked him to move his vehicle out of the way so he can leave, according to the suit. Macon responded with a threat and he and Richardson began arguing. Macon then threw a cup of soda at the woman before driving away, according to the suit.
Richardson then followed Macon into the parking lot of a nearby Target store to get his car’s license plate number. After jotting it down, Richardson turned around and tried to drive away, the suit stated. As Richardson was leaving, Macon got out of his car with his service weapon in his hand and announced he was a police officer and opened fire on Richardson, striking his car’s driver’s side door, the suit alleged.
Despite Richardson telling responding officers at the scene that Macon was armed, Richardson was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors: aggravated assault to a police officer and battery, according to the suit. Those charges were later dropped.
A Chicago police spokeswoman said Macon is currently on active duty in the department’s troubled buildings unit.
The Independent Police Review Authority — the city agency that handles allegations of police misconduct and investigations into police-involved shootings — said this case remains under review, and could not provide additional information.