City of Chicago Lawyer Resigns After Judge Discovers He Suppressed Evidence in Darius Pinex Shooting

Chicago police officer Gildardo Sierra, left, and Darius Pinex. (Chicago Tribune, family photo)

Chicago police officer Gildardo Sierra, left, and Darius Pinex. (Chicago Tribune, family photo)

A federal judge has ordered the retrial of two Chicago Police Department officers accused of shooting a Black man in 2011. According to USA Today, Judge Edmond Chang overturned a jury verdict acquitting Officers Gildardo Sierra and Raoul Mosqueda in the shooting death of Darius Pinex.

Sierra and Mosqueda shot Pinex after they stopped his car claiming it fit the description of a vehicle involved in an earlier shooting. Pinex was shot while trying to drive away.

However, Chang found a recording from a dispatcher that didn’t mention Pinex’s car had a gun or was the car involved in the shooting. The judge also found that city of Chicago lawyer, Jordan Marsh, had a copy of the recording, but “intentionally concealed” it.

In a court opinion, Chang said Marsh’s actions determined his decision to overturn the case.

“The federal court system cannot achieve its goal of fair, just, and accurate judgments without requiring that good faith be instilled into the discovery decision-making of every attorney,” Chang wrote. “Attorneys who might be tempted to bury late-surfacing information need to know that, if discovered, any verdict they win will be forfeit and their clients will pay the price. They need to know it is not worth it.”

According to The Washington Post, Marsh has resigned from his city position. Marsh’s resignation is the latest piece of bad news to hit Chicago’s embattled criminal justice system. Several senior level administrators, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, have been implicated in the city’s attempt to suppress the Laquan McDonald shooting video. The video, which showed Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times, was taped in October 2014, but just released to the public in December 2015, because of the determined efforts of an independent journalist. The city also paid the McDonald family $5 million in hush money to keep the case quiet.

Emanuel has responded to declining public confidence in law enforcement by firing Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. But protesters have continued to call for his resignation. Many people feel the corruption goes a lot deeper. Marsh’s resignation is one more reason for the public to distrust Chicago’s criminal justice system. The Chicago PD is also currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Steve Greenberg, an attorney for the Pinex family, told The Washington Post this latest revelation shows the city is more interested in protecting its image than justice.

“It shows the city hasn’t just fought to protect officers, it also fights tooth and nail to protect its lawyers,” he said. “I don’t think they cared that (Pinex) got killed, they didn’t care what the truth was and they didn’t care they cheated (with the evidence).”

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