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C’mon, man

Tuesday, Oct 5, 2021

* Sometimes, you just gotta charge ‘em and see where it goes

Many aldermen are furious over the handling of a brazen gunfight in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on Friday in which the suspects walked away without a single criminal charge being filed.

We entirely understand. In a city where authorities should be doing everything to quell a surge in violence, there’s a shoot-out like at the OK Corral, an entire block is endangered and several obvious suspects are detained.

And then nothing.

This was a shocking incident, even in a city that seems increasingly inured to daily violence, caught on video and described by one source as “just like the Wild West.” More than 70 shell casings were found, and many more shots likely were fired. Police apparently arrived in time to witness at least part of the shootout.

Who can blame anybody for asking: “If charges can’t be filed in a case like this, when can they?” […]

This page has long argued that criminal charges should be brought by police and prosecutors only when there is sufficient evidence to support a case. Too often in the past, cases have been built using torture, false confessions and the strangest stretching of the evidence. But the pendulum can’t be allowed to swing so far in the opposite direction that obvious suspects walk away from crime scenes with impunity.

False arrests and convictions have cost city taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. A more careful and just approach has been warranted, but this is ridic.

* Friday on CBS 2

Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) explained how he recently experienced gun violence in Chicago first-hand.

“Last Saturday night, my wife and I went out to eat, downtown Chicago with another couple – several couples – and we were driving home on Lake Shore Drive. about 10:00 on Saturday night. I heard a popping sound,” said Durbin.

“I didn’t know what it was, the driver of the car said, ‘those are gunshots.’ It turned out to be the car next to us. The driver was leaning out the window and shooting into the air. He could have just as easily been shooting the gun at us. Sadly, that’s what happens way too often.”

Coincidentally, the senator was in town to announce federal funding to support gun violence and prevention research.

Senator, there’s been plenty of research. The feds need to stop with the press releases and deploy actual violence prevention programs in a robust and timely manner. Not all crime can be stopped, of course, but the government needs to do far more to prevent this stuff within the realities of whatever the US Supreme Court will allow.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments »
  1. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    It seems getting out of a car and discharging a weapon at a building would subject you to some sort of criminal liability.


  2. - Sue - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    Kim Foxx’ ineptitude and soft on crime approach seems to be resulting in a lot of unpunished criminal activity if not homicides going unsolved. Releasing felons while awaiting trial on home confinement and/ or angle bracelet monitors doesn’t seem to be working for Chicago’s residents


  3. - pc - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    what can they charge the people in the home with?

    “Officers there saw four people get out of two cars and shoot into a home on the block; people inside the home then shot back, hitting one man, police said. The other gunmen took off in their cars.”

    https://blockclubchicago.org/2021/10/05/lightfoot-lied-about-west-side-shooting-charges-kim-foxx-says-and-shes-tired-of-political-stunts/


  4. - JJJJJJJJJJ - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    Short of federal gun control laws, which seem unlikely, what is out there that is proven to reduce rates of violent crime? Serious question and curious for answers.


  5. - Pro Forma - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    Kim Foxx doing a great job.


  6. - Roman - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    == Sometimes you just have to charge ‘em… ==

    That’s right. The “mutual combatants” excuse is okay for a drunken bar fight, but not here.

    The neighborhood is the victim. They need to be protected from another round of shootings. Any prosecutor worth her salt innately knows that and finds a way to lock up the combatants, even if it’s for a short time with UUW or reckless endangerment charges.

    The myopic “this is what we do” law school lecture we’re getting from Foxx is reminiscent of her approach in Jussie Smollett case. Didn’t work then, not working now.


  7. - Homebody - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    @JJJJJJJJJJ - In the short term, likelihood of getting caught/convicted is a far bigger impact than stricter sentencing. Studies have shown stricter sentencing has basically no deterrent effect on criminal behavior. So in the short term, it means spending resources on having cops on the beat and prosecuting cases, even if you can’t catch people for the BIG crimes.

    Long term, basically all studies on the topic point to environmental issues. Poverty, social services, aid to struggling families, schools, etc. Those have the absolutely largest long term impact on crime rates.


  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===what is out there that is proven to reduce rates of violent crime?===

    Violence interruption, for one. It ain’t all about cops and law enforcement.


  9. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    Democrats will own the lawlessness in the 2022 election. Remember my prediction. One democratic U.S. house seat will switch.


  10. - Ferris Bueller - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    Not a Kim Fixx fan, and love that he people that helped her get elected are raging against her now…but you need evidence to charge cases. You can’t just charge the gun offense because it will bar you from later charging the murder should evidence be uncovered that makes charging feasible. When the police get evidence, it’ll get charged and until then there isn’t much that can be done.


  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===what can they charge the people in the home with?===

    Picking their feet in Poughkeepsie.


  12. - Control the guns - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:05 pm:

    Agree on the charges. That video isn’t enough. But I’d like to see everyone holding or using an illegal gun brought up on federal charges and put away for many years. Enough of this probation and no charges out of Foxx office.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:05 pm:

    === One democratic U.S. house seat will switch.===

    Narrator: the congressional map hasn’t even been unveiled.


  14. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    ==* Sometimes, you just gotta charge ‘em and see where it goes…==

    No you don’t, at least not as far as constitutional rights are concerned.


  15. - Tom - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    JJJJ’s comment on *federal gun control laws* I’m speechless…

    The players in the streets know full well there’s no witnesses, no ramifications, and a portion of the public that could type something like JJJ’s comment, believing it.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    To the post,

    No criminal charges in this instance is beyond ridiculous and the choice of Foxx who should be held accountable for her choice.

    It’s unfathomable to think there was a discussion to no charges here, let alone having no charges be the decision.


  17. - Reasonable Doubt - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    There is a useless grainy video of a guy in a hoodie and mask. And zero admissible testimony from witnesses about the identity of any of the gunmen. Unless one of those officers has the superhuman ability to ID the shooter on the street (or had x-ray vision to see into the house) then there is no way to prove-up this case at trial. If you rush into a prosecution and lose (or win) on a lesser charge then you blow your chances of closing the murder case if somebody flips later on. Also you still lose on the lesser charge anyway, because no evidence.


  18. - Al - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    TV gives us the false impression that 95% of crimes are successfully solved in 58 minutes. Oh were this true there would be many parents with fewer heartache.


  19. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    @Ferris - that’s all fine and good if the city and county had a good track record of bringing cases when there is a shooting, but if charges aren’t brought right away, this case will just get ignored. Charge them with reckless endangerment or a firearm charge and let a jury decide. It’s okay for prosecutors to lose cases - acting like better evidence will appear in the future is disingenuous.


  20. - pc - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    If it’s so clear the people in the home can be charged why’s it so hard to say for what?


  21. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:17 pm:

    Yeah it’s insanity not to charge anyone here. What are you saying to the countless innocent bystanders who are killed each year by this behavior? We care enough about you to issue statements to the media, but not enough to punish the behavior that lead to your death. Insanity.


  22. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:19 pm:

    Charge whom with what, specifically? If you don’t have a cogent answer to that question, then maybe quit spouting off.


  23. - Chief - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    - Charge whom with what, -

    Simply discharging a firearm in the city is a crime, maybe start there?


  24. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    “Specifically from this case, you can’t determine who was discharging a firearm on the street from those cars, and that’s kind of the issue with this case.” –CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.

    But yeah, let’s just indiscriminately charge everyone on the scene, and then have a big uproar later when those charges get thrown out.


  25. - SOIL M - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:41 pm:

    Did all involved have valid FOID Card? Persons in vehicle have CCL? Weapons all legaly owned? According to reports, this was an internal gang struggle. Any of those in possesion of firearms convicted felons? Any currently on Parole?


  26. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    Foxx used same mutual combat reason last week in Schaumburg. Two teens got in fight. One kid knocked down and out. Other kid comes back and stabs him while he is on ground. Kid dies. Survivor charged with misdemeanor UUW


  27. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    ==federal funding to support gun violence and prevention research.

    Senator, there’s been plenty of research.==

    Will the new funding and research include money for the umpteenth task force and blue-ribbon commission created to “study” violence prevention?


  28. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:12 pm:

    With all due respect, you can’t just search someone’s vehicle without probable cause, hoping you will find something to justify it on the back end.

    Nor can you just charge someone with a crime without evidence they committed it, hoping for a plea or that evidence will show up later.

    Times are tough, and that’s exactly why we have due process protections, for the tough times.


  29. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===Simply discharging a firearm in the city is a crime, maybe start there?===

    What about in self defense?


  30. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    If they don’t have CCW and FOID… Unlawful use of weapons. there is your crime. Plus lots of opportunities to enhance the charge…

    “A person convicted of a violation of subsection 24-1(a)(7)(i) commits a Class 2 felony and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 3 years and not more than 7 years, unless the weapon is possessed in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle as defined in Section 1-146 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, or on the person, while the weapon is loaded, in which case it shall be a Class X felony. A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection 24-1(a)(4), 24-1(a)(8), 24-1(a)(9), or 24-1(a)(10) commits a Class 3 felony. A person convicted of a violation of subsection 24-1(a)(2.5) commits a Class 2 felony. The possession of each weapon in violation of this Section constitutes a single and separate violation.”


  31. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    It seems the people in the house do have a right to self defense. But if those guns aren’t legally owned or are stolen then they also have the right to a trial for that crime.

    Failing that make a statement about how the people in the house are cooperating with authorities then stake out the place hoping to catch the retaliation for cooperating with authorities action. You might be able to add a little complication to the car shooters lives by stating that at least one of them have been in touch with authorities. Divide them.


  32. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===what is out there that is proven to reduce rates of violent crime?===

    Education - K-12 and in prison. Maybe invest some $$$ in an education system that provides knowledge, skills, and hope.

    With respect to the outrage over the shootout, it’s certainly understandable, but I have little respect for those on the Right expressing concern and wringing their hands. This is the gun environment they have been lobbying and filing court cases to achieve.


  33. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    I am embarrassed to serve as an ASA under Kim Foxx.


  34. - Publius - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    I don’t think this is a Chicago only problem. Just google it and you get news articles all over the country. Lots of problems in Texas regarding this.
    https://abcnews.go.com/US/pair-houston-freeway-shootings-authorities-chasing-suspects/story?id=79617523


  35. - Chief - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:37 pm:

    Given that shooting AT a person is highly illegal as well, I would assume exceptions are made in those cases.

    There’s still the foid issue and felony issue.


  36. - Chief - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    - lobbying and filing court cases to achieve.-

    There’s always one….

    If these were fat white NRA members with valid Ccl’s you might have a point, but they weren’t, so you don’t.


  37. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==I am embarrassed to serve as an ASA under Kim Foxx.==

    Nobody’s forcing you. Why don’t you go apply for a job that you find less embarrassing?


  38. - Montrose - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 2:49 pm:

    I didn’t hear Foxx say they will never charge anyone, just they have not yet. The incident happened on Friday. I assume it takes a couple beats to get all the evidence in a row to make a charge you feel will stick.

    Maybe I am missing something here, but it seems folks are upset Foxx is focusing on building a good case instead of responding to public outcry.


  39. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 3:10 pm:

    ==Maybe I am missing something here, but it seems folks are upset Foxx is focusing on building a good case instead of responding to public outcry.==

    You’re not missing anything.


  40. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    Senator Durbin didn’t mention if the police were called, and if anything was done.


  41. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 4:09 pm:

    What you’re missing, Montrose, respectfully, is that a platoon of gunmen were released back onto the streets immediately after participating in a deadly shootout. Bring the charges you have a good faith basis to being today. Build the investigation and bring more charges when you can.


  42. - Flexible One - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 4:19 pm:

    The French Connection was a great movie. Thanks for the reminder Rich


  43. - Sunshyne40 - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 4:22 pm:

    Foxx said that the police did not bring hey any gun charges just murder and if they bring gun charges they she will act.


  44. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 4:23 pm:

    ==a platoon of gunmen were released back onto the streets immediately after participating in a deadly shootout==

    “Specifically from this case, you can’t determine who was discharging a firearm on the street from those cars, and that’s kind of the issue with this case.” –CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.


  45. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 4:39 pm:

    I really hope you don’t think that quote you cited is somehow sufficient.


  46. - charles in charge - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 4:48 pm:

    @AlfondoGonz:

    Why don’t you just enlighten all of us: For what charges against which individuals does probable cause (which is the legal standard, not “a good faith basis”) exist to sustain a charge?


  47. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 6:07 pm:

    Probable cause to make an arrest. Then, ethically, a prosecutor needs a good faith basis that he or she can prove each element of the offense they ultimately charge. Then the court determines whether the State’s evidence at arraignment is sufficient to make a finding of probable cause.

    Your understanding of things is lacking. And it would be irresponsible to speculate what specific charges should be filed against which individuals. But it’s apparent a crime was committed. Hence the controversy. Try to keep up.


  48. - JoanP - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 9:29 pm:

    Point is, AlfondoGonz, that if you don’t have any evidence as to who was discharging the gun, who do you arrest? You need probable cause against a specific person. And, according to Deenihan, there isn’t any. In this country, we don’t “round up the usual suspects”.

    I agree with charles in charge; it’s time you found another job, because you don’t understand the one you have.


  49. - AlfondoGonz - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:04 pm:

    It’s not up to Deenihan. It’s up to Kim Foxx.


  50. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Oct 5, 21 @ 10:08 pm:

    If you have video of a car pulling up to a house, a subject gets out of the car, shoots at a house, gets back in the car, then flees from the police and the police find the car, guess what, the person in the car is your shooter. It’s easy to pound your chest about the standard of proof if you just don’t want to charge anyone for whatever reason.


  51. - Chief - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 9:23 am:

    - if you just don’t want to charge anyone for whatever reason -

    Exactly.


  52. - Sling - Thursday, Oct 7, 21 @ 5:25 am:

    == guess what, the person in the car is your shooter.===
    Guess what, there was more than one person in the car. Now who do you charge?


  53. - Sling - Thursday, Oct 7, 21 @ 5:29 am:

    == It’s not up to Deenihan. It’s up to Kim Foxx.==
    Deenihan says there’s insufficient evidence. Up to Foxx to do what?


  54. - Howdy - Thursday, Oct 7, 21 @ 7:28 am:

    == Democrats will own the lawlessness in the 2022 election. Remember my prediction. One democratic U.S. house seat will switch.==
    Maybe. But you still can’t throw people in jail without evidence.


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