A Chicago police officer who instructed other Chicago police officers in the use of force was recently arrested in relation to an off-duty police shooting. The officer shot the man in the hand. 39-year-old Kevin Bunge is charged with aggravated battery and the unlawful use of a weapon. Both are felonies. Bunge was held on a $10,000 bond.
Police say that Bunge was on his way home from the police academy where he taught when a vehicle pulled up behind him. Bunge was parked, listening to a book on tape when the vehicle approached. The two men were going to meet a friend. The one man was providing directions to the other man using Google Maps. The driver did not believe that the directions were accurate, so they pulled their vehicle over.
At this point, Bunge exited his vehicle with his gun and his badge. Although neither man was armed, Bunge fired into the vehicle. Both men inside the vehicle have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bunge. Meanwhile, Bunge is facing criminal charges related to the incident.
The driver sustained a bullet wound to his hand. The wound is described as disabling multiple fingers. Meanwhile, the window was rolled up when Bunge fired into the vehicle. This resulted in glass shrapnel striking the passenger. The passenger sustained injuries to his face and ear.
Bunge, of course, insists the men were armed. He also insists that one man raised a gun on him and that is why he fired into the car. There are two problems with this argument. First, if someone feels threatened, and they exit their vehicle with a loaded weapon, it is clear they are looking to use it. There would be no good reason to confront the two men because if they did have a weapon, a reasonable person would assume that they were going to use it. A reasonable person being confronted by a man with a gun would, if they had a gun of their own, use it to defend themselves. So even if the men did have a gun, it would not be a strong defense for Bunge’s actions.
Since no gun was found at the scene, we can say that Bunge probably expected to be shot at when he exited the vehicle because he was in a state of hypervigilance. Then, anything the suspect did would be interpreted as the same thing that Bunge was doing: Threatening the use of a weapon. Bunge fired, based on this mistake, and now he is going to claim that the mistake was legal simply because he believed he was in danger.
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