18-Year-Old Charged in Murder of Police Officer

A Chicago man charged with shooting and killing a Chicago police officer is being held without bond. The man is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, among other things. He did not have a criminal history, according to police, but his reputation for gangsterism preceded him. The young man was suspected of running from a stolen car after a shooting. In that case, police had sought felony charges, but prosecutors only approved misdemeanor charges based on his age and arrest record. In the shooter’s case, the charges were eventually dropped after he completed 20 hours of community service. His age and lack of criminal record were cited as reasons to be lenient.

Now, the prosecutor’s office is in big trouble after the boy shot and killed a police officer. Today, law enforcement is caught between two pressures. The first is ensuring that young individuals have a chance to rehabilitate themselves. The second is ensuring the safety of the public and police officers. Every time something like this happens, the pendulum swings back toward less leniency. 

Analyzing the Enforcement Issues

The enforcement issues have more to do with communities and environments being underserved than they do with putting people away for the rest of their lives. In a case where you have an 18-year-old person, a child really, who is committing heinous crimes against the public, you have to wonder where everything went wrong. The fact is that this boy was trained to function like this, and the gangs are smart when it comes to deprogramming a person’s conscience to get them in a position to do things that are patently immoral. So, often, these individuals are recruited, trained, and turned out to the public as soldiers, and we all watch it happen and wonder why.

At this point, we know this suspect is going to go to prison for the remainder of his life, but we have already lost control of this situation. A police officer is dead, the suspect’s life is over, and all we can do is put him in a cage as a solution. 

Analyzing the Prosecution

Prosecutors may not have priors, but they can still tell the court a story about how this 18-year-old was training 15-year-olds and recruiting children into his gang, destroying countless future lives. So, while the situation may be sad because of the defendant’s age, it would be an insult to the officers of the force to allow him to wander the streets again. He will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. Further, the fact that lenience backfired so spectacularly means that this incident will be recounted every time anyone tries to pass criminal justice reform. Ultimately, the overall amount of destruction caused by this incident is going to make things worse for everyone. 

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today

David Freidberg represents the interests of Chicago residents who have been charged with serious crimes like murder in the Chicago area. Call today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately. 

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