[WATCH] Family of Man Shot by Troubled Chicago Police Officer Files Lawsuit


Two weeks after a civil jury found that Chicago police Officer Patrick Kelly shot and severely injured one of his best friends in the officer’s home, the troubled patrolman faces a new lawsuit from the family of a man who was fatally shot after Kelly responded to a domestic disturbance on the Southwest Side.

Hector Hernandez’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Friday, alleging that Kelly and another officer shot him without provocation in April 2014. The man, who had a young son and a daughter on the way, was shot 13 times, including eight bullets in the back and buttocks, the suit states.

Kelly was the first officer to open fire at the scene, firing 11 rounds at Hernandez until his gun jammed, according to records from an internal investigation. Officer Antonio Corral — who had been waiting for someone to bring a Taser to subdue Hernandez — followed suit and fired 10 rounds.

The Independent Police Review Authority, the now-defunct agency that previously investigated all officer-involved shootings, ruled the shooting justified, saying Kelly and his fellow officers could have reasonably been in fear for their lives. In interviews with IPRA investigators summarized in the report, officers on the scene contended that Hernandez was moving toward them with a kitchen knife when he was shot.

The Hernandez family’s lawsuit also names the city of Chicago as a defendant, saying Kelly benefited from the so-called code of silence in the department, an unwritten but widely acknowledged understanding that officers protect each other even to the point of ignoring each other’s wrongdoing.

Kelly, 36, has been found mentally unfit for duty twice, arrested two times, accused of beating a girlfriend and treated for alcohol addiction. He has been sued seven times during his 14-year career and has been the subject of more than two dozen investigations into his on- and off-duty conduct, including one in which he was found to have assaulted a female sergeant.

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