CHICAGO -- For the first time in a little more than 15 years a Chicago police officer is on trial for his use of deadly force.
A judge heard opening statements today, three years after off duty Chicago detective Donte Servin opened fire on a group of people killing one and injuring another.
The case is also being drawn into of a national debate over police brutality.
In this case Officer Servin, who is Hispanic, was off duty at the time and is Latino.
The victim - a 22-year old black female.
Servin is facing involuntary manslaughter charges, making him the first Chicago police officer in more than 15 years to be charged in a fatal shooting.
Prosecutors contend Rekia Boyd was shot in the head as she tried to run from gunfire after several of her friends had a run in with Servin.
The confrontation happened late on the night of March 20, 2012 close to Douglas Park, in the alley near Servin’s home on Albany Avenue and 15th Place.
Servin says earlier in the evening he called 911 to report big crowds partying loudly.
He claims he left to get food and when he returned there was a confrontation.
At the time, prosecutors say Servin was armed with an unregistered semiautomatic handgun.
During the argument, Servin claims he saw a man in the group pull out a gun and point it in his direction and that’s when he fired several times from the window of his car. No gun was ever found.
Boyd died the next day.
At his trial Servin is expected to argue he believed one of Boyd’s friends had a gun.
The city of Chicago reached a settlement with the family of Rekia Boyd, paying them $4.5 million.
Officer Servin faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
He is free on bond and is on desk duty pending the outcome of the trial.