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Articles Tagged with chicago gun lawyer

A Chicago man is facing federal charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of controlled substances, and the use of a weapon in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The defendant was stopped on the CTA Green Line when the weapon and drugs were found. Since the defendant has a previous felony on his record, it is unlawful for him to possess a firearm. 

However, the grand jury announcement and arrest report fail to note how the police became aware that the man was in possession of a weapon. What probable cause did they have to search the man in the first place? At this point, it is completely unclear how police became aware that this particular individual was in possession of contraband and illegal weapons.

When this information is not provided in an indictment report, it is likely to become the subject of a probable cause hearing. Generally speaking, police have little cause to approach an individual aboard a train or in a station and demand that they subject themselves to a search. So chances are good here that the defendant has a functional probable cause defense. If he does not, then he is going to have to face these charges and likely be convicted. His freedom thus hinges on how the search was conducted and whether or not the police had probable cause to initiate the search.

In September of last year, Chicago police announced they were “going after the gangs” in an apparent bid to reduce crime. However, it is now a year later and the number of shootings and gang-related violence has yet to dwindle. Police Superintendent David Brown said that he wanted it well known, the Chicago police will be going after the gangs. He also mentioned that they would be doing it Constitutionally and without violating anyone’s rights. 

Gang violence remains a major problem in Chicago and across the U.S. with gangs handling drug and weapons trafficking and becoming involved in an increasing number of identity thefts. Police struggle to keep up with the problem largely because they have lost control of the territories they patrol. This is not a new phenomenon. The birth of gangs in the U.S. relates to under-policing in certain districts. Instead of paying police for protection out of your tax dollars, you pay gangs for protection. The gangs identify and eliminate potential threats to the community. However, remaining solvent over the years has proven troublesome and the public does not trust the police enough to protect them if they provide information. In terms of hearts and minds, police have lost that battle largely due to abuses committed over the years by Chicago police officers who would have been happier operating out of gangs than within law enforcement. The following are some of the structural problems that allow gangs to thrive in cities.

Hearts and Minds

With problems concerning “progressive prosecutors” now a major wedge issue in the political arena, you should expect to hear about the weekly number of shootings and murders in Chicago regularly. Are we really that bad, though? What about NYC and Los Angeles? How many people got killed there over the weekend? 

Before we answer that question, it is important to understand that Chicago has its own unique problems and these comparisons are never as useful as they seem. However, it appears that Chicago will win the Labor Day contest as to which city contributed the most casualties to the weekend. In most cases, these attacks will be targeted and gang-related. In some cases, stray bullets will hit unintended targets. In other cases, disputes erupt in public that are solved with bullets. 

How are Other Cities Doing With Gun Violence?

ShotSpotter is a technology that aims at reporting gunshots to police officers (Was ShotSpotter involved in the death of Adam Toledo?) However, the technology has been manipulated by ShotSpotter employees to help cops leverage probable cause in cases where they would not otherwise have it. In fact, this constitutes a fraud on the public, the defendant, the court, and society at large. Rather than release documents during a trial, a ShotSpotter spokesperson took the unusual measure of asking the court to hold the company in contempt rather than release documents that would show that the company perpetrated a fraud against the citizens of Chicago. 

What is ShotSpotter and How Does it Work?

Ostensibly, ShotSpotter technology places audio devices around the city which then trigger alarms if they hear a noise that is loud, like a gunshot. The report could give police probable cause to stop individuals in the area. However, evidence has shown that shot spotter employees manipulated reports ex post facto to establish that a gunshot came from a specific location in order to give police probable cause to initiate detentions. 

The pandemic has actually increased the overall number of shootings in Chicago, but our numbers are still going down from where they were last year and the year before. This year, we had 254 shootings in May whereas 2021 and 2020 showed numbers well above 300 shootings. The last year we posted a number lower than 200 was 2019, before the pandemic began. 

Despite showing signs of slowing, the numbers are not where law enforcement hoped they would be and there is concern over what the summer could hold. Chicago, with the help of federal law enforcement and Project Safe Neighborhoods, has been attempting to get guns off the street and reduce the overall amount of gun violence in the city. However, even as more and more gun busts are being reported, there has only been a marginal dip in the overall number of shootings and murders. 

What is Working and What is Not

Prosecutors have dropped felony charges against a suspect who was implicated in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl and an injury to her 6-year-old sister. Prosecutors refused to pursue felony charges against one of the suspects citing the lack of evidence and the failure of one witness to cooperate. The witness is believed to be a relative of the girls and was in a dispute with one of the suspects. Without this witness’s testimony, the murder trial against at least one suspect will not move forward. Prosecutors also cited a lack of a confession or video evidence as a reason to drop the felony charges.

The outraged police officers threatened to ignore the prosecutors and try the case themselves. But the prosecutor said they would dismiss the case if the police took that route. To avoid a public battle between police and prosecutors, police backed down from their threats. The suspect is now being held on a minor parole violation. However, the felony charges against him related to the shooting are gone. 

The State Attorney’s Office issued a statement that said that prosecutors and police are now in accord with the handling of the case. Prosecutors reiterated that there was simply not enough evidence to bring the case to trial. The Chicago Police Department did not issue a comment when asked.

An Indiana man is in deep water after a gun he purchased in Indiana was used to shoot two Chicago police officers recently — one of them fatally. Police say that the semi-auto handgun was purchased in Indiana as part of a straw operation.

Essentially, felons skirt federal background check requirements by setting up straw buyers to purchase weapons on their behalf for a fee. The gun, however, remains registered in the name of the straw buyer. When that gun shows up on the streets after being used to injure one cop and kill another, you can bet that the police will come after the individual who purchased the gun illegally, placing it into the stream of commerce, with the result that one cop was fatally killed.

According to police, the defendant purchased the weapon at a federal firearms dealership in Indiana. Shortly thereafter, it was used in violent crimes against police.

Chicago P.D. is being pressured by activists to stop using the ShotSpotter technology that allows them to respond to reports of gunfire. Activists claim that police are using ShotSpotter reports to fabricate evidence against shooting victims. They also claim that the microphone sensors are placed disproportionately in minority neighborhoods. 

Prosecutors in Chicago have been forced to withdraw evidence related to ShotSpotter after discoveries have been made that the technology could be easily tampered with. Police departments use the technology to find gunshots and increase response times. Adam Toledo was among the incidents in which ShotSpotter technology was employed. Police say there was a report of gunfire, an assailant was firing into vehicles. That is when they caught up with Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old with a gun. Toledo tried to ditch the gun, but when he pulled it out, the officer shot him.

What is wrong with ShotSpotter?

Chicago PD announced a new team that will target straw purchasers for guns. Essentially, felons or others who would otherwise be prevented from applying for a gun permit pay someone else to perform the transaction for them. The straw buyer then gives the weapon to the felon who now has a gun. According to Chicago police, this is how a large number of weapons sold outside of Chicago end up on Chicago streets. 

The federal-local team will consist of Chicago P.D. and the ATF. Investigators are focusing on gun traffickers, straw purchasers, and unscrupulous gun store owners who do less than the legal requirement to ensure their buyers are legitimate.

Illegal Gun Sales at Legal Gun Stores

It was a case in which everything worked the way it was supposed to work. A 9-year-old was murdered, yes, but witnesses came forward to finger the gunman and help the police arrest a suspect

It happened like this. A gunman rolled up on the 900 block of North Cambridge Street, got out of his car, and fired a gun at an intended target. He missed that target and ended up shooting a 9-year-old boy several times before the child died of his injuries. 

According to the Alderman of this community\, the men involved in the dispute had known each other for over 50 years and a feud between them led to the shooting. The Alderman stated that neither man was a member of the community and that neither man lived in the row houses where the shooting took place.

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