Statement on COPA Ruling to Separate Officer Kelly from CPD from Antonio M. Romanucci
The following is a statement issued by Antonio Romanucci, founding partner of Romanucci & Blandin, who represents Michael LaPorta and family in the ongoing litigation against against the City of Chicago and Officer Patrick Kelly, who a federal jury in 2017 found guilty of shooting LaPorta in 2010 and awarded a record $44.7 million in damages. Last week, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability called for Kelly’s separation from the force after nearly a decade of investigating the matter.
“I’m relieved to know that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability finally got it right, after 9.5 years of investigation, what it took a jury just two days to determine: that Chicago Police Officer Patrick Kelly, an admitted alcoholic with a long history of on- and off-duty misconduct that placed him among the City’s worst repeat-offenders, shot and nearly killed his childhood best friend, Michael LaPorta.
Mr. Kelly demonstrated a pattern and practice of violence that escalated over time, never abated and was condoned, and finally culminated the night he nearly took Mikey’s life. The plain truth is that Mr. Kelly never should have been allowed a badge and gun given his penchant for violence and misconduct. But what has kept him on the force all these years is the Chicago Police Department’s “Code of Silence,” evidenced by the failure to investigate and discipline him, allowing him to persist in the shadows and continuing to collect a taxpayer-funded paycheck even as the years of investigations and trials into his offenses have gone by.
It is long overdue for the City of Chicago to come clean in this case, take accountability and drop its appeal to overturn the federal jury’s finding that Mr. Kelly shot Mikey and that they were responsible for it. COPA’s finding is consistent with the jury’s determination that Patrick Kelly shot Michael LaPorta, and as such it has recommended his separation from the Department. The City of Chicago and Mayor Lightfoot owe it to the taxpayers to stand down on this nonsensical fight, pay what is rightfully owed to the LaPorta family, and work to rebuild the trust between its police force and the people who call this city home.”