CHICAGO – A young Chicago police officer on furlough was shot dead in a car parked by a man who was looking for a Hispanic national to attack after a clash at a fast food restaurant, the city's chief of police said on Monday.
"I guess he's happy with the first Hispanic he's seen," said Supt. Eddie Johnson.
Charges of murder were laid during the murder of John Rivera at the weekend. The 23-year-old was shot several times while sitting in a car with three friends after visiting a pizzeria early Saturday in the River North area of Chicago. Another person was injured.
Menelik Jackson, 24, of South Holland, has been charged with murder and attempted murder alongside Jovan Battle, 32, of Chicago.
Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke of the Cook County Circuit Court ordered that the two men be detained without bail.
"The two men represent a real and present threat to the victims, the living victims in this case, this community and all the other human beings on the planet with whom they come in contact," said the judge.
Deputy Public Defender Christopher Anderson, who represents Battle, said his client had not had the opportunity to make phone calls to the police station. He added that Battle is unemployed and receiving social security assistance for bipolar disorder and depression.
Attorney Robert Willis stated that Mr. Jackson had a partner degree and worked at a specialized auto parts store.
The battle met with Jackson and a third individual to find the people involved in the altercation at the restaurant, said state deputy attorney James Murphy. He added that Battle had pointed to the car in which Rivera was several times before the suspects approached the vehicle.
The video clearly shows that Jackson is pulling a handgun and aimed directly at the driver's glass of the car in which Rivera was sitting, Murphy said.
Johnson said that Jackson had tried to become a police officer in 2017, which he described as "disgusting".
He said that Jackson, who is black, was seeking revenge after an argument with Hispanic men on a party bus at a McDonald's nearby. An hour later, around 3.30am, shots were fired in the parked car. No word was uttered, according to the police.
Rivera had been an officer in Chicago for almost two years.
"John is a love, he's an angel," said a friend, Jennifer Navarro, 23. "Why would anyone just want to take his life like this?" He had a lifetime ahead of him. "
The investigators are looking for the third man who was with Battle and Jackson during the shooting, Johnson said.