Gun sold to buy-back program found near dead suspect in police shooting

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William Stewart Boyd traded his father’s old .38 caliber Smith & Wesson snub nose for less than $100 in a gun buy-back in 2004. It was supposed to be destroyed, but somehow the same handgun with serial number J515268 was found next to a dead body involved in a police shooting eight years later.

Boyd, a judge in Cook County, had taken the handgun to a South Side church in Chicago, Illinois where he handed it over to a pair of plainclothes officers with badges on their belts. “I’m doing the right thing,” he said in an interview with Chicago’s Sun Times, “and, in the process, someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do. That calls into question the process. What’s happening after you turn these weapons in?”

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22-year-old Cesar A. Munive, a gang member convicted of sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful use of a weapon, and battery, was shot and killed by Cicero Officer Donald Garrity in July of 2012. Boyd’s old revolver was found laying next to Munive’s body after the shooting. Now Boyd and others want to know how it got there.

Officer Garrity is currently collecting a disability pension associated with PTSD and has a long history of disciplinary problems. Garrity has been under investigation for wielding a “high-powered rifle” during a traffic stop, threatening a fellow poilce officer, and was once pulled over for driving 90 mph in a 30 mph zone. He resigned from the Berwyn Police Department following multiple investigations and was hired by Cicero in 2012.

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Munive’s family has accused Garrity of planting the handgun at the scene of the crime to justify his use of force. The family attorney said there were “plenty of warnings readily available to any reasonable police department that it was not safe to put a gun in the hands of such an unstable individual.” The city of Cicero is ready to pay Munive’s family $3.5 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit out of court. “No one would hire him except Cicero,” the attorney wrote in a court document.

Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi calls the revolver’s role in the shooting “extremely abnormal and troublesome.” In a formal statement to the press, Guglielmi said, “We are opening an internal affairs investigation today to trace this gun, verify that it was taken into police custody during a turn-in and investigate how it possibly ended up back on the street.”

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