After shooting a teen by “mistake,” a trainer for the Chicago Police receives probation.

After reaching a plea agreement with the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, a Chicago Police trainer who was facing 12 felony counts for his unprovoked shooting of an unarmed teenager will not be sentenced to prison.

For the off-duty shooting in 2020 on the North Side, Officer Kevin Bunge, 40, pleaded guilty on September 14 to one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm.The remaining charges, which carried minimum sentences of imprisonment, were dropped by the prosecution. These charges included attempted murder and aggravated battery.

A $549 fine, 30 months of probation, five days in a sheriff’s work program, and mental health treatment were all imposed by Judge Charles P. Burns.

Timothy Grace, Bunge’s attorney, praised the plea deal.
Grace wrote to WBEZ, stating that the prosecutors were aware that Bunge “made a mistake in that he believed that the victims were about to engage in a vehicular carjacking,” and that “he received no special treatment or benefit because he was a law enforcement officer.”

The victims, Jomner Orozco Carreto and Carlos Ramrez, “agreed with the resolution of this case,” according to a statement from Foxx’s office.

Another statement from Foxx’s office said, “We communicated directly with the victims and their civil attorneys to ensure that they were aware of the possible resolution.” It also said that the felony conviction will result in Bunge’s decertification as a police officer in Illinois and the revocation of his state firearm owner’s identification card.

A My Life in the CHI analysis of Foxx’s office’s online postings of Cook County criminal case data indicates, however, that Bunge’s sentence appears unusually light for an offense initially categorized by prosecutors as “aggravated battery with a firearm.”More than 92% of the 404 defendants who have pleaded guilty in cases classified as such over the past five years have received prison sentences.

According to their attorney, Brad Thomson, Orozco Carreto and Ramrez, who were both 19 years old at the time of the shooting, wanted to avoid the “re-traumatizing experience” of testifying in court.The prosecution would have suffered greatly had there been victim testimony.However, Thomson stated that the victims desired a harsher sentence than probation.

“The judge in this case showed this officer a lot of leniency, and that’s leniency that other residents of this city who are charged with crimes do not see,” Thomson said. “And those residents are typically Black people and people of color.”

At the sentencing, the statement written by Orozco Carreto, the teen who was struck by one of Bunge’s shots, was presented to the judge.

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

Two shots were fired when Bunge returned from teaching at the police academy on December 11, 2020, and parked outside his residence on West Irving Park Road.

Orozco Carreto and Ramrez arrived in a red hatchback and parked behind Bunge’s white SUV as cold rain fell.Later, they claimed that they had stopped only to look for party directions.

Grace said that Bunge, a former Marine who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was in the SUV listening to an audiobook about the Battle of Fallujah. Grace said that the officer had been the target of a recent carjacking.

“He noticed the vehicle behind him, and the thoughts that were going through his mind were, ‘Why is the victim parked so close to me? What are they doing?’ ” Grace said at the officer’s bond hearing.

A prosecutor at the bond hearing said that Bunge, who had been with the CPD for seven years, said he heard gunfire and saw someone getting into the hatchback and pointing a gun at him.
A city agency looking into the shooting posted online multiple-angle surveillance videos showing nothing like that. During the incident, it appears that the victims were in their vehicle.

The video shows Bunge getting out of his SUV and walking toward the hatchback with his gun drawn.He fired once, landing in Orozco Carreto’s right hand.

A video shows that Orozco Carreto backed away from the hatchback, and Bunge fired once more. According to police, that round struck the hatchback’s front fender.

Ramez, Orozco Carreto, and others immediately dialed 911.They claim that the responding officers detained them.However, neither a gun nor any evidence that they had fired was found by the police in their vehicle.

Bunge was arrested and charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated battery with a firearm more than three months later.In April 2021, a grand jury indicted the officer on 12 counts, including the charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery, four counts of aggravated weapon discharge, and six counts of official misconduct.

Orozco Carreto and Ramrez, on the other hand, sued Bunge and the city.The City Council approved a $1.2 million settlement in February.

A statement from Foxx’s office stated that “the court accepted the defendant’s plea after a presentation of facts, the defendant’s criminal history and other aggravating and mitigating factors” when asked about the fairness of Bunge’s sentence.

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