A Chicago police officer is facing criminal charges stemming from the 2020 shooting of a man inside a CTA Red Line station downtown.
Melvina Bogard, 32, has been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and official misconduct more than 17 months after the nonfatal shooting of Ariel Roman inside the Grand Red Line station, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Bogard appeared in court Thursday afternoon and was issued a $10,000 I-bond, meaning she does not need to post any money to leave jail. Bogard was also ordered to surrender her firearm owner identification card as a condition of her release.
The charges come following a review conducted by the State’s Attorney’s Law Enforcement Accountability Division. According to the state’s attorney, Bogard surrendered to investigators Thursday morning.
Body camera footage released last year by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and other witness videos published online show two officers – Bogard and her partner Bernard Butler – struggling with Roman at the base of a staircase inside the Grand CTA station on Feb. 28, 2020.
Minutes before the shooting, officers riding the same train as Roman saw him walking from one subway car to another, which is illegal under city ordinance.
According to Ken Goff, who works in the State’s Attorney’s LEAD division, Butler and Bogard approached Roman and asked him to leave the train and then repeatedly asked to see his identification.
Roman turned away from the officers, at which point Butler grabbed him to try and turn him back around, and a four- to five-minute physical confrontation ensued, Goff said during Thursday’s hearing. Both officers tried to use their Tasers on Roman, but they had no effect, according to Goff.
The witness’ video shows Butler lying on top of Roman at the base of an escalator and struggling to keep him still. Roman can be heard saying, “I did nothing to you,” as the officer keeps telling him, “Stop resisting.” As they stand up, Bogard tries to pepper-spray Roman’s face before telling him to show his hands so they can handcuff him.
According to Goff, Bogard attempted to radio for assistance multiple times during the struggle, but her calls did not go through.
Butler can be heard in the video telling Bogard multiple times to shoot Roman.
With Roman still struggling to get away, Bogard tells Roman to show his hands, but he instead wiped his eyes and stepped toward Bogard, according to Goff, at which point she fired her weapon, striking Roman in the chest. Roman then attempted to flee up the escalator and Bogard, who was in pursuit, fired a second shot, striking Roman in the buttocks, according to Goff.
He collapsed at the top of the escalator, where he was taken into custody by other police officers.
Roman survived the shooting, and according to Goff, a search of his belongings after the shooting revealed small bags filled with substances suspected to be cocaine and mariuana, but no weapons.
He has since filed a lawsuit against the officers involved, who were subsequently stripped of their police powers. In April 2021, the Chicago Police Department filed administrative charges against Bogard and Butler seeking to have both officers fired.
Tim Grace, an attorney with the Fraternal Order of Police representing Bogard, said his client followed the CPD’s use of force guidelines “by the book" and only fired in order to defend herself.
“She did exactly what she was trained to do at the Chicago Police Academy,” Grace said. “This is self-defense.”
Bogard is due back in court for a hearing Aug. 18.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.