COVID-19 Update: We Are Open 24/7 to Service Current and New Clients.

Articles Posted in Violent Crimes

Many of those who engaged in the violent protest that ended the life of one D.C. officer and several protesters are facing federal charges right now. Their faces and names are appearing all over social media and their identities are being revealed. In cases in which the federal government refuses to file charges, the individuals are being held accountable by the companies for which they work. One Chicago-area CEO discovered this the hard way.

Bradley Rukstales is one of the protesters who are facing federal charges stemming from the Capitol riot. He has also lost his job as CEO of the tech company Cogensia. A spokesperson for the company said Rukstales was terminated on Friday, effective immediately. The Vice President and COO of the company will take over Rukstales’ duties.

The company issued a statement that said that Rukstales’ actions were not consistent with the core values of the company. Rukstales is also facing federal charges for unlawful entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

The holidays are a stressful time, especially this year with so many facing an uncertain future. On top of that, COVID shutdowns are causing crime to spike all over the country, especially in major cities. Chicago is among the major U.S. cities that have seen spikes in crime during the quarantine. Meanwhile, economic recessions, counterintuitively, cause crime rates to go down

But COVID has not behaved like an economic recession. In fact, the situation we are still enduring is unprecedented in the last 100 years. Still, the question remains: Why is crime spiking when fewer people are on the street?

Mental Health Issues

A road rage incident went way out of control when one of the combatants grabbed the other by the hair and threw her to the ground. The state employee, Keli Calderone, pulled a sidearm that she was licensed to carry and shot the man. That man survived but sustained severe injuries as a result of the incident. Calderone was charged with attempted murder, but later, she was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. Beforehand, however, Calderone was held before a termination committee to decide whether she was still allowed to work in her capacity with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. The office rejected her claim of self-defense and terminated her.

The Self-Defense Argument

Self-defense arguments are really easy to make in some states (Florida) and really difficult to make in other states, like Illinois. Calderone was charged with attempted murder, but the judge who presided over her case determined that because she had been thrown to the ground, and was in a vulnerable position that left her subjected to further force, her use of her gun was justified. 

After nearly a decade of insisting that Michael LaPorta shot himself with a police officer’s service revolver, they are now asking for the man’s help bringing the police officer to justice. LaPorta, who can no longer walk, read, or care for himself, is cared for by his mother. Nonetheless, the city is hoping to subpoena his testimony for the upcoming disciplinary hearing that may allow them to remove the officer from the force. 

LaPorta’s mother reported being “floored” by the request. After decades of insisting LaPorta had fired the shot that changed his life into his own head, they are seeking to compel LaPorta to provide testimony. The quality of that testimony and its necessity for this disciplinary hearing is unclear. 

The History

The latest in police violence occurred just outside of Chicago when a white officer shot a Black security guard outside of a bar. Prosecutors announced that there would be no charges filed against officer Ian Covey. The Cook County state attorney’s office said that the “totality of evidence” was “not enough” to press criminal charges against the officer. 

In apparent anticipation of the potential backlash, State Attorney Kim Foxx told the press that they had interviewed over 100 witnesses and this evidence was examined by her office and the public integrity task force that helps take down bad cops. 

What Happened?

A day after one of the officers wrote an unhinged email expressing his contempt for anyone who might take issue with the fact that an innocent woman who worked saving lives and had no criminal record was senselessly murdered as she slept in her apartment, a grand jury is recommending charges against Brett Hankinson, the only officer who was relieved of duty.

Hankinson was scape-goated for wantonly firing rounds into Breonna Taylor’s residence, but it is not apparent that he did anything differently from the other officers. Neither does the grand jury’s recommendation address how easily police were able to get a warrant against Taylor without any material evidence of wrongdoing. Louisville has made “no-knock” warrants illegal even as police say they announced themselves prior to entry. Police believed Taylor was guilty of drug trafficking due to an association with an ex-boyfriend.

The City of Louisville announced they would be settling the Taylor family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the city for $12 million.

Lorelle Jordan, a 25-year-old parolee, is charged with six counts of attempted murder after opening fire on Chicago police officers outside of a Northwest Side police station. Three officers were injured in the attack.

Jordan was wanted for questioning in relation to a carjacking that occurred the month before. Officers spotted a white Porsche that was stolen in the carjacking and ran the VIN and the plates. They realized that the vehicle was stolen. As they were running the numbers, Jordan walked right up to the Porsche, got in the car, and attempted to drive away.

Officers then physically removed Jordan from the Porsche, placed him in cuffs, and drove him down to the police station. What they did not realize was that Jordan had a gun on him. By the time the officers got to Grand Central District Station and attempted to remove Jordan from the vehicle, Jordan had pulled the gun and fired on the officer opening the door. This officer was shot in the face and is in serious condition. Another officer was shot in the hip, and a third took a bullet to his protective vest. 

The feds arrested the alleged leader of the Black Disciples gang, Darnell “Murder” McMiller. The Black Disciples are believed to be involved in gun and drug trafficking and are one of the major players on Chicago’s south side. 

These arrests come amid Trump initiatives to send federal officers into major cities, all democratic strongholds. Trump and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who initially opposed the move, came to an agreement. Trump appears to be interested in helping these democratic cities fight violent crime. However, his tactics have garnered nationwide condemnation in Portland, where allegedly plainclothes DHS officers grabbed people off the streets and took them to federal facilities without filing charges. 

Most of the Portland mission seemed geared toward protecting the federal courthouse that had been vandalized by protesters over the course of several nights. This, however, appears geared toward reducing some of the violence in the most troubled parts of Chicago.

Charges have been filed against Reginald Merrill, a 33-year-old Chicago man who is being blamed for the death of a 7-year-old girl. It is one of several deaths across the country that have people taking a harder look at gang violence across America’s cities. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered an impassioned plea to those responsible for this kind of violence. She said in a speech that she wanted us all to feel the loss of children dying at the hands of gang members who fire indiscriminately into crowds.

Merrill has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery. 

You have likely heard this from both President Trump and your local news anchor. Out-of-state provocateurs infiltrated the peaceful protests to instigate violence and looting. But is it true? Well, they caught at least one man who has been arrested for looting in Chicago, but who also made an appearance at the Minneapolis riots. The man appears to be encouraging others to attack police and destroy private property.

Matthew Lee Rupert has been charged with civil disorder, carrying on a riot, and possession of unregistered destructive devices. These are all federal crimes

U.S. officials are attempting to determine if extremist groups had anything to do with the escalating violence. Meanwhile, President Trump has declared Antifa a terrorist group, something that experts are unsure that he has the authority to do, amid reports that far-right groups also may have contributed to the chaos of the past few days.

Contact Information