Back in the old days, they made you burn a saint to prove your loyalty to the gang was above all other considerations. Today, it appears that carjackings are fulfilling the same role. Carjackings are on the rise in Chicago with a healthy cross-section of defendants under the age of 18.
Recently, a group of 14-year-olds carjacked an off-duty police officer. They are facing charges. One of the teens was on home monitoring at the time of the carjacking, leaving everyone to wonder how he was allowed out of his home to commit a crime.
In another case, a Chicago 18-year-old is facing charges related to the carjacking of a rideshare driver. He is facing charges related to carjacking, armed violence, and causing a death while committing a violent crime. Meanwhile, many of these perpetrators are being charged under federal law, and federal authorities aid Chicago police in tamping down violent crime, gang violence, and weapons crimes. The same boy was arrested for another carjacking in March.
Some believe that this is a gang initiation thing, but maybe the major payoff of carjacking is the rush you get when you commit the crime. Just like anything else that causes a rush, it can become addictive. Those with poor family structures, a lack of supervision, and without a loving home to come back to may seek out pleasures in destructive ways.
In this case, when the defendant brandished his weapon, the gun fired, killing the driver. While deaths are rare in carjackings, they often happen just like this, accidentally. Under the law, this is not charged as first-degree murder. Instead, it is charged as an accidental murder that takes place during the intentional commission of a crime, known in most cases as felony murder. While it is a different crime than first-degree murder, it carries the same set of sentences. In this case, the teenager is facing life in prison for accidentally discharging his weapon during a carjacking.
The Role of DCFS
Strange as it may sound, DCFS cannot open up an investigation unless there are allegations of abuse or neglect. That means that even if a kid shoots an Uber driver, DCFS would not involve themselves in the incident. However, it appears reasonable that 14-year-olds who are pulling carjackings are not being cared for by anyone and there is no immediate consequence to doing illegal, evil, and potentially deadly things. Had there been some form of intervention earlier, it stands to reason these children’s lives could have been saved along with their victims.
Another issue appears to be access to weapons that allow the teens to pull off these carjackings. Where are they getting the guns from? Chicago police and federal authorities are currently seeking the answer to that question.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a serious crime in the Chicago area, then you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure you are not overcharged or improperly charged for crimes you did not commit. Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to learn more about how we can protect your future.