As part of plea deal, Chicago police training officer gets probation in 2020 by shooting unarmed driver off duty

Chicago police trainer who faced 12 counts of unprovoked shooting of unarmed man will not be sent to jail after plea deal with County State’s Attorney’s Office Cook, Kim Foxx.

Officer Kevin Bunge, 40, pleaded guilty on September 14 to a single count of aggravated discharge with a firearm for the 2020 off-duty shooting on the North Side. Prosecutors dropped other charges, including attempted murder and aggravated bodily harm, which carry prison terms.

Judge Charles P. Burns ordered 30 months probation, five days in a sheriff’s work program, a $549 fine and mental health treatment.

Bunge’s attorney, Timothy Grace, welcomed the plea deal.

“He received no special treatment or benefits because he was a law enforcement officer,” Grace wrote to WBEZ, saying prosecutors conceded that Bunge “erred in that he believed the victims were about to engage in a carjacking.”

A statement from Foxx’s office said the victims, Jomner Orozco Carreto and Carlos Ramírez, “are in agreement with the resolution of this case.”

“We communicated directly with the victims and their civil attorneys to ensure they were aware of the possible resolution,” the statement said, adding that the felony conviction will lead to the decertification of Bunge in Illinois as a cop and the dismissal of his gun owner. ID card.

But Bunge’s sentence appears unusually light for an offense initially categorized by prosecutors as “aggravated bodily injury with a firearm,” according to a WBEZ analysis of Cook County criminal case data released online by Foxx’s office. .

Over the past five years, of the 404 defendants who pleaded guilty in such cases, more than 92% were sentenced to prison.

Orozco Carreto and Ramírez, both 19 at the time of the shooting, wanted to avoid the “traumatic experience” of testifying at trial, according to their attorney, Brad Thomson. The absence of testimony from the victims would have dealt a blow to the case of the prosecution.

Still, Thomson said, the victims wanted a harsher sentence as part of the plea deal.

“The judge in this case showed a lot of leniency to this officer, and it’s a leniency that other people in this town who are charged with crimes don’t see,” Thomson said. “And those residents are usually black people and people of color.”

Orozco Carreto, the teenager hit by one of Bunge’s blows, wrote a statement presented to the judge during sentencing.

“You must use your power to make Officer Bunge understand that he must pay for the crime he committed against us,” the victim wrote. “You need to let him and the public know that the police are not above the law, that they have to answer for the crimes they commit.”

Chicago Police Officer Kevin Bunge was arrested on March 17, 2021 for the shooting.

Cook County Sheriff’s Office

two shots

On the evening of December 11, 2020, Bunge returned from teaching at the police academy and parked outside his home on West Irving Park Road.

As a cold rain fell, Orozco Carreto and Ramírez pulled up in a red sedan and parked behind Bunge’s white SUV. They later said they stopped to find directions to a party.

Bunge, a former Marine who was diagnosed with PTSD, was in his SUV listening to an audiobook about the Battle of Fallujah, according to Grace, who said the officer had been the victim of a recent hijacking. car.

“He noticed the vehicle behind him, and the thoughts running through his mind were, ‘Why is the victim parked so close to me? What are they doing? ‘ Grace said during the bail hearing for the officer.

Bunge said he heard gunshots and saw someone enter the tailgate and point a gun at him, according to a prosecutor during the bail hearing.

Surveillance videos from multiple angles — posted online by a city agency investigating the shooting — show no such thing. The victims appear to be in their car throughout the incident.

Bunge got out of his SUV and headed for the tailgate with his gun drawn, as seen in the footage. He fired once, hitting Orozco Carreto in the right hand.

Orozco Carreto rolled the tailgate back and Bunge fired again, video shows. This bullet hit a fender of the sedan, according to the police.

Orozco Carreto and Ramírez quickly called 911. They say the officers who answered arrested them. But police found no firearms in their car or any evidence that they had fired any shots.

More than three months later, Bunge was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge with a firearm.

The case against the officer expanded in April 2021, when a grand jury indicted him on 12 counts, including charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery, four counts of aggravated discharge. a weapon and six counts of official misconduct.

Orozco Carreto and Ramírez sued the city and Bunge. In February, city council approved a $1.2 million settlement.

Foxx’s office, asked if Bunge’s sentence was fair, sent a statement stating that “the court has accepted the defendant’s plea after a presentation of the facts, the defendant’s criminal history and other factors aggravating and mitigating”.

Chip Mitchell reports on policing, public safety and public health. Journalist patrick smith contributed. Follow them on @ChipMitchell1 and @pksmid.

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