Lightfoot, Foxx have war of words over no charges being filed in Chicago gang shooting
CHICAGO - A war of words over a deadly gang shooting was caught on camera in the Austin neighborhood last week. Five men were arrested at the time, but charges were not filed and they were released.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says there is "insufficient evidence" and now Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is a former prosecutor herself, is not happy. Foxx even cited "mutual combat" in this case, as it was reportedly gangs shooting at one another.
It happened in the 1200 block of Mason in Austin around 11 a.m. last Friday. The shooting was caught on a pod camera and police say more than 70 shots were fired. Two groups of gang members were shooting at each other. One of the alleged shooters died and two others were wounded.
"She's got to explain to the public, why? Given that evidence, a pod camera right there that captured the entire thing and police officers on the scene in uniform, and a squad car there, why that isn't enough," said a furious Mayor Lightfoot.
Kim Foxx’s office released a statement reading in part, "The detectives reached out to our office on Friday and acknowledged at the outset that given the chaotic nature at the scene they were unable to determine how the events unfolded."
The statement goes on to read, "The staggering violence that is devastating our communities is horrific, however, we must still adhere to both our ethical and legal standards in evaluating charges. As a former prosecutor, she knows that."
The mayor and several alderman sent a letter to Foxx’s office asking her to reconsider the case.
"If the bad guys that are out there that are picking up guns and shooting without any regard for the sanctity of life, do not believe that there's accountability for them, the brazenness will not end. It will escalate, it will continue and our communities will not be safe," Lightfoot said.
Full Kim Foxx statement below:
"As a former federal prosecutor, the Mayor knows of the ethical obligation of the prosecutor to only bring forth charges where the facts, evidence, and law support it. She is also fully aware that as a prosecutor we are obligated not to try cases in the media. It is unclear why she has chosen to make such statements, especially absent the full information that was presented to our office by CPD. The detectives reached out to our office on Friday and acknowledged at the outset that given the chaotic nature at the scene they were unable to determine how the events unfolded. We reviewed the evidence that was presented to us in consultation with the detectives and they agreed we were unable to approve charges based on the evidence presented. However, as always, as additional evidence is gathered we stand ready to bring charges when appropriate. Additionally, the facts the mayor presented today simply are not in line with what was presented to us by CPD, and not born out by the evidence we received. The staggering violence that is devastating our communities is horrific, however, we must still adhere to both our ethical and legal standards in evaluating charges. As a former prosecutor, she knows that."