Chicago Police officer Gildardo Sierra has been placed on desk duty after admitting to drinking “multiple” beers prior to shooting and killing 29-year-old Flint Farmer in June 2011. Chicago Police claimed Farmer “pulled an object from his pocket, which the officer believed to be a handgun, and aggressively came at the officer.” Farmer was holding his cellphone.
The city waited more than five hours to give Officer Sierra a Breathalyzer test, according to a new court filing by an attorney for the slain man’s estate. The incident, captured on Sierra’s dashcam, shows him firing three shots into Farmer’s back as he lay bleeding on a parkway. The incident was the third shooting by Sierra in six months and the second fatality, records show.
The city settled with Farmer’s estate in its civil rights lawsuit. The financial terms of the agreement have remained undisclosed. The Police Department ruled the Farmer shooting justified, but Superintendent Garry McCarthy later told local news reporters that he considers the case “a big problem” and that Sierra should not have been on the streets given his history of shootings. During a psychological evaluation, Sierra admitted that he drank “multiple beers” before starting the midnight shift on the night Farmer was killed. The evaluation also revealed that Sierra “was nervous…. about his then-upcoming mandatory breath test because he might test positive for alcohol.” The number of beers Sierra drank was not specified in the court filing submitted by Farmer’s estate on Thursday.
Sierra, 32, joined the department 10 years ago. He has been stripped of his police powers and is working at the city’s 311 center since the shooting. His annual salary is $75,000/year, according to city data.
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