10-year sentence for man that Soros DA Kim Foxx initially refused to prosecute because the other guys shot back
It was remarkable news in 2021 when the Cook County State’s Attorney Office, run by Soros-supported Kim Foxx, refused to prosecute any of the 5 people arrested after a gang shootout on the streets of Chicago. The reason given would have in effect legalized gang shootouts from that point on. You see, both sides were firing at each other. As I wrote at the time:
[H]ow many more shooting matches will start now that the word is going out that you can escape charges in a gang shootout -- even if someone is killed -- if both sides are shooting? (snip)
Tom Schuba writes in the Chicago Sun-Times:
Five men linked to a deadly gang-related shootout Friday in Austin were released from custody after prosecutors declined to charge each of them with a pair of felonies, including first-degree murder, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
The brazen mid-morning gunfight, which left one shooter dead and two of the suspects wounded, stemmed from an internal dispute between two factions of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang, according to an internal police report and a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation.
The source said police sought to charge all five suspects with murder and aggravated battery. By Sunday morning, a Chicago police spokeswoman acknowledged the suspects had “been released without charges.”
In a statement later Sunday, Cristina Villareal, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, explained that prosecutors had “determined that the evidence was insufficient to meet our burden of proof to approve felony charges.” Police officials agreed with the decision, Villareal added.
While she wouldn’t specify what other evidence prosecutors needed to file charges, the police report acknowledged that victims of the shootout weren’t cooperating with investigators.
But the report also framed the state’s attorney’s office’s decision to decline charges in a different light: “Mutual combatants was cited as the reason for the rejection.” Mutual combat is a legal term used to define a fight or struggle that two parties willingly engage in.
If you or your gang shoots at someone or someone’s gang, and if they shoot back, it is a get-out-of-jail free card! Dodge City at its worst was never this bad.
As the impact of the decision sank in, even then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot protested.
Craig Wall of WLS-TV:
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and some West Side aldermen called on Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx to reverse her decision on the case.
"If they do not feel like the criminal justice system is going to hold them accountable, we're going to see a level of brazenness that will send the city into chaos and we cannot let that happen," the mayor said Monday. (snip)
Lightfoot, herself a former prosecutor, believes there's evidence to make a case.
"I think that there's evidence there. We've got videotape, we have a marked squad of uniformed officers who were on the scene observing it," she said. "At a bare minimum, the individuals who initiated the firefight must be prosecuted."
"I think it goes beyond frustration, I'm furious about it," said 29th Ward Alderman Chris Taliaferro, who oversees the ward where the shooting took place.
Soros money or no Soros money, this was too much for Kim Foxx to resist. As the invaluable CWBChicago website writes:
Months later, after public outrage subsided, prosecutors approved charges against one man—Thomas Dean.
On Wednesday, Dean pleaded guilty to three felony gun charges in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence, court records show. Judge Thomas Byrne sentenced him to three years for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and ten years each for a pair of machine gun possession charges. The sentences will be served concurrently.
Thomas Dean and a frame from the shootout video. | Chicago Police Department; Provided
But in announcing the charges in early 2022, the outrageous justification for early no charges decision was completely ignored:
Four months later, Lightfoot, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, and then-CPD Supt. David Brown stood side-by-side to announce charges against Dean. Foxx denied that her office cited “mutual combatants” for refusing to charge Dean and others earlier.
Foxx also said officials had secured a search warrant against another target, and she expected additional charges to be filed in the days ahead. But court records show no other defendants charged in Dean’s case as of Friday morning. Officials have also not announced any charges against others.
Chicago police repeatedly tried to get prosecutors to sign off on murder charges against Dean. That never happened.
So, four others involved in the shootout and arrested at the time are skating, despite earlier promises. Dean’s sentence is serious time, even with parole, although early release due to prison overcrowding cannot be ruled out.
Chicago’s homicide clearance rate (the percentage of crimes resulting in successful prosecution) is already low, especially in black neighborhoods where gang shootouts predominate:
In 2021, there were 800 homicides counted. The clearance rate by prosecution was 21.7% in predominately Black neighborhoods, yet 45.6% in predominantly White neighborhoods. The study also found that since 2001, the rate of unsolved homicides for Black women is at 35% compared to 23% for White women.
Dean’s plea bargain alone is not going to change the statistics. But at least one instance of prosecutorial insanity has been corrected -- for one of five defendants.
It’s not much, but it is a lot better than the get-out-of-jail-free card that was earlier handed out to the gangs of Chicago.