Do you wonder why Chicago has a high murder rate?: Chicago gunfight caught on camera shows gang members shoot into house, with police as witnesses, but prosecutors still released gang members

Oct 5, 2021 | Criminal Justice System

If you don’t prosecute the few gang members police catch, guess what? You get more violent crime. More than 70 shell casings were found at the crime scene.

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.” . . .

Tom Schuba, “Prosecutors reject charges against 5 suspects in deadly gang-related gunfight in Austin,” Chicago Sun-Times, October 4, 2021.

This was too much more even Chicago’s left wing mayor.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is lashing out at Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for citing “mutual combatants” in her decision not to press charges against those arrested in a deadly daylight neighborhood shootout caught on camera last week between rival gang members.

“She’s got to explain to the public, why? Given that evidence, a pod camera right there that captured the entire thing and police officers on the scene in uniform, and a squad car there, why that isn’t enough?” Lightfoot said at a press conference Monday. “If the bad guys that are out there that are picking up guns and shooting without any regard for the sanctity of life, do not believe that there’s accountability for them, the brazenness will not end. It will escalate, it will continue and our communities will not be safe.”

Danielle Wallace, “Chicago shooting: Lightfoot, prosecutor Foxx exchange war of words over no charges filed in gang gunfight,” Fox News, October 5, 2021.

More details are available here.

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,” a state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman said, adding that police officials agreed with the decision.

But a police report 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.

Last week, Cook County prosecutors came under fire after making a similar argument after a teenager was stabbed to death during a fight in suburban Schaumburg. The family of the victim, 18-year-old Manuel Porties Jr., later told WGN that prosecutors specifically said they weren’t charging the 17-year-old suspect with murder because the fatal fight amounted to mutual combat. . . .

Sun-Times Media Wire, “Prosecutors reject charges against 5 suspects in deadly gang-related gunfight in Austin,” WBBM, October 5, 2021.

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