Welcome to Cook County, Illinois, where crime often has no meaningful consequences. Between a State’s Attorney’s Office reluctant to file charges and judges who mollycoddles defendants, Chicagoland has become the modern Wild West.
Case in point: a 14-year-old who (reportedly) shot and tried to kill two in a nice uptown neighborhood was released by a judge Friday to his parent with no bond – not even electronic home monitoring.
The Cook County judge claims the police failed to bring this suspected would-be gang killer (pictured above, right) in front of a judge quickly enough. So the judge, in order to penalize the police, released the kid without conditions other than to report to court next week.
Of course, the judge is really only penalizing the community as the accused certainly missed his calling as a choir boy.
The police, on the other hand, said they had concerns about the young man’s safety. Police released images of the suspects to the media in an effort to identify them and the media published them.
The Chicago mainstream media refer to the accused as a “boy.” Even though this “boy” reportedly shot one man in the back, abdomen, buttocks and groin and the other in the head.
The Chicago Tribune reported from the scene:
Ricardo Spence had been on his way home from work and just turned the corner to walk south on North Kenmore Avenue when he heard shot after shot behind him, counting as many as six. People started screaming and running. A lone man bolted past him. He thought the man must be the shooter.
“I could tell by the way he was running,” Spence said.
He went back north toward Argyle Street and looked to his right, toward the commotion. He saw blood pooling around a man on the ground as a woman held him, screaming “No.” Other people were starting to help, Spence said.
He stood there and watched. It seemed like there was nothing he could do.
“It was … chaotic,” Spence said. “I was just like, it’s crazy. I just moved here. I didn’t think it was going to be like this.”
The trains kept letting people off at Argyle, and Nolan Van Jackson walked out of the station heading east. He passed by the area where Spence was standing, and saw the woman kneeling next to the man on the ground, hugging him. She seemed like someone who loved him, Van Jackson said. He heard her yelling, “Breathe, breathe, breathe.”
From CWB Chicago on the release of the suspect:
A spokesperson for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told CWBChicago this afternoon that “we requested the minor be held in custody [but] Court made the finding that under the law, the minor must be released because he was held in custody for 42 hours by the Chicago Police Department and was not brought before a judicial officer within 24 hours.”
Prosecutors asked Judge Linda Pauel to put the teen on electronic monitoring if he was going to be released, but she denied the request.
“Over our objections, the minor was released to the custody of a parent,” Foxx’s office said.
Felony attempted first-degree murder and felony aggravated battery charges remain in place against the teen, whose next court date is Monday, Foxx’s spokesperson said.
When the criminal justice system fails to hold criminals responsible for their crimes, ultimately street justice begins to take over. And the unofficial blog of a Chicago cops, Second City Cop, writes:
Anyone want to place odds on if the shooter makes it through the weekend alive?
More gun laws would have stopped this, right?
“More gun laws would have stopped this…” Incredibly, many in our current crop of state legislators would probably agree. After all, more government solves any problem, right?
Meanwhile, this would-be killer is now back out on the streets. Unfortunately for him, the streets might not be so friendly to him.
Hopefully no innocents will find themselves serving as the backstop for bullets meant for the 14-year-old who, if it weren’t for these scurrilous accusations, would be spending his spare time studying and preparing for the SAT.