Apparent Vigilante Faces Trial for Beating, Robbery

It is unclear what, if any, peacekeeping organization the defendant belongs to. However, he was wearing a Peacekeeper’s vest when police say he invaded another man’s car, pulled him from the vehicle, and stole his wallet and cell phone. The attack took place in Little Village, and he was among a group of eight people.

The Peacekeepers are a citizen-run organization that helps prevent violence in Chicago. Thus far, they have not been associated with any violent assaults until one man was caught on police surveillance video pulling another man from his car. The man sustained fractures to his head and ribs. The peacekeeper has since been charged with aggravated battery, robbery, and invasion of a vehicle.

The Rules Regarding Security Teams

Everyone operates under the same basic rules, even the police, although in most situations, they have a stronger defense than a citizen vigilante. Under no circumstances would an individual be able to initiate violence against another individual unless they themselves had reasonable cause to believe that they were in imminent danger for their lives or someone else was in imminent danger. This includes the defense of property. So a Peacekeeper operating on that litmus test could ostensibly beat a charge of aggravated battery or even murder, but by the time you are pulling someone from a vehicle, it is unlikely that you are preventing a threat to yourself. 

Immediate Danger

A citizen would not be allowed to lay hands on anyone unless they were in immediate danger. The scope of the intervention would only apply to removing or getting out of danger. The citizen would not be able to take anyone’s property as a result of feeling immediate danger. So, in this case, the defendant cannot plead self-defense.

Instead, the defendant appears to be pleading not guilty on the grounds of mistaken identity. In other words, the defendant is questioning the police investigation that led to charges and arrest. His public defender argued that it would be difficult for police to see and identify the man in the darkness. 

The Peacekeepers

The Peacekeepers are a citizen-run organization that helps prevent gun violence in Chicago. Over 500 people have been trained, and the program is sponsored by the government. However, they are not necessarily law enforcement. The Peacekeepers are recruited from violent neighborhoods and are afforded a $100/daily stipend to police the streets. Some still have connections to the gang world.

In this case, the defendant had a prior criminal history and served a sentence of 12 years in prison on an aggravated discharge of a firearm charge that was pleaded down from attempted murder. 

Peacekeepers belong to a handful of different peacekeeping organizations. It is unclear how much help they are providing police, but they have been the target of violence on at least three occasions. 

Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

David Freidberg represents the rights of those charged with violent crimes. Call today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing defense strategy immediately. 


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