Gang wars become legit in Chicago
Last week, Chicago had a gang shooting in which one person was killed and two were wounded. I know -- nothing newsworthy there, just a normal day in the Windy City. But this gang shooting is different. The city leadership decided to get, shall we say, creative in how they responded to it.
First some background information. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (of Jussie Smollett fame) decided not to charge any of the gang members due to a lack of evidence. Apparently 70 shots fired, caught on camera, and witnessed by the Chicago PD SWAT team, is insufficient for a conviction in Kim’s city. Maybe if the shooters had been wearing MAGA hats she’d be more enthusiastic about enforcing the law.
But then when Foxx defended her decision, things got interesting. She explained that there really wasn’t any need to charge the shooters, because the victims were also combatants. I believe that’s the city’s chief law enforcement officer saying it’s A-Okay for there to be a little gunplay in her town as long as it’s only the criminals killing each other.
To be clear, this is not the first time that Ms. Foxx has used the “mutual combatant” argument to decline charging a killer. She made the same argument about a knife fight that resulted in a death a couple of weeks ago. Since both people involved in the disagreement had knives, Foxx ruled it a “no harm, no foul” incident. Apparently, this “mutual combatant” ruling is an official thing in Chicago now.
This whole “mutual combatant” instrument in the prosecutorial discretion toolbox raises a number of questions. If gangs are now recognized as legitimate combatants, does the Geneva convention apply? I suppose gang colors could be considered uniforms under the rules of the convention.
If the gangs are at war with each other, are the police at war with any of them? In the shooting described above, the SWAT team witnessed the shootout, but there’s no report that they engaged in any way. Perhaps the police are now simply neutral observers. I suppose that makes sense. If the cops were to actually engage any of the gangs, they would also be “mutual combatants.” There’s no word yet from Foxx on whether any resulting police deaths would be written off as “mutual combatant” casualties.
In this turf war, can the gangs hold prisoners until the cessation of hostilities? That’s just a rhetorical question. These “combatants” are more likely to use a quick bullet to the head than deal with the logistics of keeping prisoners alive. If that proves to be true, will they be charged for murder or war crimes?
Given that the gangs are now engaged in a legitimate and recognized military action, are their weapons legal now? I mean there were guns in the hands of “combatants” during that shootout, but nobody was arrested for illegal firearms possession. I guess it’s okay for them to have guns to facilitate the conduct of hostilities against each other. Apparently in Chicago, only people who do not belong to gangs will be restricted from bearing arms.
Are people caught in the crossfire now just collateral damage? The next time a bullet goes through a window and kills an innocent child, will Foxx chock it up to an unfortunate consequence of war? After all, President Asterisk ordered the murder of 10 innocent people in Afghanistan. A few unintended casualties here and there are to be expected -- right?
State’s Attorney Foxx is showing us why George Soros funded her campaign. Chicago is getting what it voted for -- good and hard. If you live in Chicago, buckle up. You’re in for a wild ride. Your city leadership has decided that 1980s Beirut is the rockin’ place they want to be.
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network (afnn.us). He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Drew Lundquist
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