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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Undercharging a crime...

I've been focused when it comes to police violence in such places as South Carolina more recently and of course New York and Missouri. Then this case out of Chicago where a police officer somehow shoots dead a young black woman in 2012. Charges against this officer had recently been dismissed in a Cook County Court, however, it was made easier by the prosecution.

This is why I'm finally being tuned into this case as a local lawyer named Sam Adam - he defended some high profile people including one Rod Blagojevich & R. Kelly - is making some noise about this case. Of course as noted in this article he may consider running against the current state's attorney in Anita Alvarez:
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was accused Wednesday of deliberately charging a now-acquitted Chicago Police detective with involuntary manslaughter instead of first-degree murder to “curry favor with” the Fraternal Order of Police.

Flamboyant criminal defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. said the rare directed verdict of acquittal that abruptly ended the trial of Dante Servin makes Adam more likely than ever to challenge Alvarez in the 2016 Democratic primary.

In issuing the stunning ruling, Circuit Judge Dennis Porter said pointing a gun at an intended victim and pulling the trigger is an international act — not a reckless one. He essentially said Servin should have been charged with murder — not involuntary manslaughter — for firing into a crowd and killing 22 year-old Rekia Boyd in March 2012.

Adam couldn’t agree more. But he argued that Alvarez’s “mistake” was intentional.

“When a man comes out, argues with an individual, then shoots an unregistered handgun over his shoulder into a crowd and rips the life out of a young vibrant African-American woman with no good cause and that individual is treated completely differently because he’s an off-duty police officer, that shows the problem we have in this county,” Adam said.

“To charge that as reckless conduct and not first-degree murder — either you’re doing it because you want to curry favor with the police department or you’re completely inept,” Adam said. “I think there’s no question it was deliberate. She wants to curry favor with the FOP. It took a $4.5 million settlement to get charges in this case. She was stuck in a hard place. If you charge first-degree murder, the FOP is mad at her. If you don’t charge anything, the community is upset. So you play the odds. That says you’re thinking about your job, not about what’s right.”
When I saw this I thought about this jewel from 2008. Alvarez has been Cook County State's Attorney since 2008 but before her election she made an appearance on a local political TV show and made her statement in favor of gun control. Something that shouldn't be too unfamiliar with those who have followed this blog over the years.


Soooo I know this seems like it was ages ago, but it came to mind because I just finally learned more about this case. As far as I know Ms. Alvarez hasn't done too much as far as guns in Cook County. I wish there was a way to look up how many cases involving guns go through the Cook County courts. 

Either way, it's disturbing if a police officer got away with shooting an unarmed person. Especially if he did engage in an intentional act of shooting his gun when he's trained to do otherwise. Although I can believe he shot believing that a suspect was holding a gun himself.

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