The Chicago District Attorney’s Office will file charges against 42 people, they announced recently, but there is concern that several individuals who had no criminal record prior will now have enhanced felonies on their record.
One such individual is Steven Yates. Police say that they caught Yates handing out jewelry from a downtown store. When they attempted to apprehend him, he tried to escape through the back, only to find more cops. He turned around and attempted to barrel out of the front of the store when he ran into police commander Jill Stevens. Stevens was knocked to the ground.
Yates will face felony charges for looting, burglary, and aggravated battery on a police officer.
Who is Steven Yates?
Yates is a full-time student with no criminal record. He told police that he heard from friends on Facebook that they were going to protest and decided to join along. He told police that he does not normally do “stuff like this” and did not mean to run into the police commander.
Yates is now caught in the middle of a power dynamic between city officials and police officers. Police officers expect that the individuals who they arrested will be tried and held accountable for crimes in which the police officers intervene. However, city officials do not want to aggravate the flood of anti-police sentiment that occurred in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.
Now, it seems that city officials and police are on the same page. Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters that she cannot allow the looting to continue and that those arrested will be held accountable.
Yates was released on $10,000 bond.
Half of Looting Defendants Had No Record
According to defense attorneys and prosecutors who attended the virtual bond hearings, more than half of the recent looting defendants had no criminal records. 42 people are facing felony charges related to looting, burglary, and similar crimes. A handful of arrests were related to resisting arrest or battery on a police officer. Six people will face weapons charges, and one person is facing charges for attempted murder.
Battery on an Officer
Tallying up the charges, it appears that Yates is facing a battery charge on an officer. However, battery requires an intentional act of malice. A person must knowingly attempt to harm another individual. It appears that Yates did not try to hurt the officer, but if the officer was wearing officer clothing and he attempted to run through her, that would count as an intentional act.
Yates has admitted being a party to the burglary and was handing out jewelry to people on the street. Despite his good standing with the community, he could be facing prison time for the crimes that he committed.
He is among a number of individuals who have seen their otherwise quiet lives turned upside-down by the current state of life in the United States.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing charges related to looting or burglary, call the attorneys at the law office of David Freidberg today to schedule an appointment and allow us to begin preparing your defense.