Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond

Share:

CHICAGO, IL – Chicago’s uncontrolled killing spree this year is being partially fueled by pretrial release of felons as evidenced from the arrest this week of a man who opened fire on a truck driver earlier this year.

Armonii Russell, 24, became the 54th person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony. A total of 76 victims are involved in those crimes, according to a report in CWB Chicago.

Russell was arrested on a warrant for attempted murder this week for opening fire on a truck driver during a road rage incident on the Dan Ryan Expressway on April 27. At the time of the shooting, he was on bail awaiting trial for a firearm charge and manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance.

Before ordering Russell held without bail for the shooting, Judge Maryam Ahmad said:

“This court knows of no other offense more threatening to public safety than shooting at a vehicle on a highway.”

Russell is charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

In an event captured on the truck driver’s dash camera, Russell’s vehicle sideswiped the trucker while the two were merging into traffic. Russell then pulled in front of the trucker and “brake checked” him repeatedly, according to Assistant State’s Attorney John Gnilka

Russell then displayed a handgun out the window of his vehicle and fired four shots through the trucker’s windshield. Thankfully, the driver was not struck by the gunfire.

The suspect then fled the scene while the trucker and a witness called police. Prosecutors said police used the truck’s dash camera video to obtain Russell’s license plate and other evidence to help identify him.

An arrest warrant was obtained for Russell in November, and police almost nabbed him earlier this year. During that arrest attempt, police observed the suspect entering his BMW and tried to take him into custody. The suspect managed to flee the scene but left behind a handgun and clothing that police used for DNA evidence.

The Chicago Police Department finally caught up with Russell this week during a traffic stop in the city.

In an increasingly common scenario in the “Windy City,” Russell was on bail for a felony when he committed the shooting. He had been released on just $2,500 bond for allegedly carrying a 45-caliber handgun while selling drugs in a South Side Laundromat in January.

The felon also had a pending grand larceny case in Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was released, according to Gnilka.

Chicago has been suffering from a violent crime spree and reduced police numbers this year. The problems are being exacerbated by the “Defund the Police” movement and liberal policies calling for limits on the use of cash bail and judges and prosecutors permitting violent offenders and felons to receive pretrial release.

A Loyola University study designed to show the success of bail reform has found the opposite. The report shows that Cook County’s controversial limits on the use of cash bail caused more crime on the streets of Chicago and resulted in fewer defendants showing up in court.

In the report, scholars Don Steman and David Olsen found that, controlling for a range of factors, bail reform led to the release of roughly 500 defendants who would otherwise have been detained. They also estimate that, both before and after reform, roughly 17 percent of released offenders committed a new crime, including three percent who committed a violent offense.

The report found:

“(Bail reform) had no effect on new criminal activity or crime.”

However, the report found that if 500 additional people were released under bail reform, and the same share of released individuals re-offended, then the total number of crimes in Chicago would rise. The New York Post explained:

“It’s a mathematical fact: More offenders multiplied by a constant crime rate equals more crimes. Using precise figures from the paper, the 9,200 individuals released following reform committed roughly 1,573 crimes and 294 violent crimes. If only 8,700 offenders had been released, they would have committed 1,488 new crimes and 278 violent crimes.

“In other words, the release of just 500 people led to roughly 85 additional crimes, including 16 additional violent crimes.”

Adding to the problems of bail reform, the study determined that such measures caused more offenders to fail to appear for court proceedings or trial.

The study found that there was a significant increase in the failure-to-appear rate, rising from 16.7 percent to 19.8 percent. This results in police, especially Chicago officers, having to serve more high-risk arrest warrants.

As of November 28, there have been 792 homicides in Chicago this year. In all of 2020, which saw riots and anti-police violence across the city, there were 730 homicides during the entire year. In comparison, there were 501 homicides in all of 2019.

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity
Chicago: Downtown’s ‘mean streets’ have witnessed shootings surge over 220% since 2019

October 31, 2021

 

 CHICAGO, IL – Chicago earned its reputation as the “mean streets” during the violent period between the 1919 race riot to the civil rights battles of the 1960s, and the 220% increase in downtown shootings witnessed over the last three years definitely fits the description.

According to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times, shootings in the central police district of Chicago are up 220% from 2019 amid looting caused by riots and a rise in violent crime.

The Chicago Sun-Times analysis found:

“The 16 police beats that cover most of the greater downtown area have seen a total of 77 shootings so far this year, which is triple the number of shootings there compared to 2019.”

West Garfield Park, the city’s most dangerous community area, has experienced a per capita rate of shootings nearly twenty times higher than downtown, according to the Sun-Times analysis of city data. 62 shootings in a single, eight-by-five block section of West Garfield Park.

The surge is partly the result of reductions in police staffing shortages brought on by the pandemic and the 2020 summer of violence, when Black Lives Matter and other left-wing groups protested and rioted amid calls for police reforms. 

The problem could become worse if the city enforces the Mayor’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. About 4,500 Chicago police officers did not report their vaccination status by October 15 as mandated by the city, officials said Monday. 

That means roughly 35 percent of the city’s 12,770 officers could be placed on no-pay status in the foreseeable future.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she does not believe the mandate will affect the city’s ability to protect citizens:
 
“I’m not seeing, at least for this day, that there’s going to be any disruption in our ability to keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Despite her assurances, a momo issue to officers from the city reportedly read:

“(Officers refusing to comply with the mandate) will become the subject of a disciplinary investigation that could result in a penalty up to and including separation from the Chicago Police Department. Furthermore, sworn members who retire while under disciplinary investigations may be denied retirement credentials.”

Lightfoot has vowed not to defund the Chicago Police Department this year, but she did balance the city’s budget in 2020 by eliminating 614 police vacancies, shrinking the ranks of the department.

The city has experienced massive officer retirements, with 703 just this year. Retirements and staff  cuts have left the department short 987 sworn officers.

This year, facing unprecedented violence spreading across the city, Lightfoot has proposed a $189 million increase in police spending. However, Budget Director Susie Park has gone on the record saying the “full driver” of the increase is the new police contract, which includes a 20% pat raise of eight years.

While the city grapples with staffing and funding issues, the people of Chicago are being gunned down at horrific rates.

The numbers show that the number of shooting victims is more than triple that in all of 2019. Through Oct. 23, at least 617 people have been fatally shot and at least 3,768 have been wounded in Chicago, pushing the city toward its deadliest year since the mid-90s.

John O’Malley, the deputy mayor of public safety, told the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Not only are we trying to deal with things that are happening downtown, (but also) dealing with and having these same conversations and same meetings with community members all across the city, where some areas violence is a daily, if not hourly, concern.”

The surge in violence has resulted in delays answering 911 calls as police struggle to find staff to respond. Residents report that their 911 calls are often not answered, the police respond slowly when they do respond at all, and gang crime has gone through the roof.

One resident, Mel Jones, commented during a community meeting recently:

“How do you suggest that we engage this problem going forward? Do we just wear Kevlar vests at night? Do we just watch businesses leave our community?”

Local Professor Lance Williams commented that people are losing faith in the city and the ability of police to protect them:

“The mentality in the streets is that it’s too dangerous to do crime in these communities because the reaction is immediate. People don’t depend on the police . People protect themselves. Every man has to have a gun. It’s a Wild West mentality.”

‘Enough already’: Sig Sauer announces major backing of national ‘re-fund the police’ campaign

Editor note: For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

NEWINGTON, NH – Law Enforcement Today is pleased to share that Sig Sauer, highly respected and immensely popular leader in the firearms industry, has joined us as a corporate sponsor in our campaign to “Re-Fund the Police.”

As a Law Enforcement Today reader, you know that we have put forth a campaign to back the blue and support re-funding efforts, while calling attention to both the adverse effects of defunding the police, and the positive effects that our dedicated protectors in law enforcement create every single day.

In this campaign, we put out a call for individual and corporate sponsors to join us in this mission.

Sig Sauer, with its honorable and lengthy history of supporting law enforcement, answered that call with a generous donation, standing with us and with our brothers and sisters in blue.

From its humble beginnings as a German gun company in 1751 and a Swiss wagon factory in 1853 who merged in 1875 to its current status as a firearms industry leader, Sig Sauer has remained synonymous with expert, state-of-the art craftsmanship and reliability. 

Sig Sauer has also cultivated a close working relationship with law enforcement over the decades of its existence, marrying its expertise with the needs of those who serve.

As the Sig Sauer website states:

“It is the largest member of a worldwide business group of firearms manufacturers that includes J.P. Sauer & Sohn and Blaser, Gmbh. in Germany.

This global network of companies gives SIG SAUER a world-class firearms knowledge base, unparalleled design expertise, and extensive manufacturing capacity, enabling the company to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions and the needs of its military, law enforcement, and commercial markets worldwide.”

Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond
Sig Sauer Academy. Photo courtesy of Sig Sauer.

In addition to state-of-the art equipment such as firearms, ammunition, optics, suppressors, and air guns, Sig also provides top-of-the line training for law enforcement officers and others.

Sig Sauer Academy, located in Epping, NH, offers firearms and tactics training to everyone from first-time gun owners to the most elite levels of law enforcement and military.  This facility “features state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor ranges, tactical training areas, urban environments, a shoot house, a maritime training area, and a force-on-force village.”

We recently sat down with Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP of Commercial Sales, to learn more about Sig Sauer’s decision to back our campaign to “Re-fund the Police.”

Taylor told us:

“The minute we heard the concept, it resonated with us here at Sig Sauer, because it’s so disgusting to us, the whole “defund the police” mentality….

“The police were already shorthanded, there’s never enough training, there’s never enough equipment, there’s never enough people, there’s never enough resources.  

“And then you throw at them this ‘defund the police’ mess, to put it politely.” 

He added:

“It just disgusts us, when we see specific incidents of police agencies like Austin, who have gone so all-in to this concept of taking resources away from an operation that is already underfunded. 

“Who is going to help save lives when they’re needed?  It’s harder and harder to get police officers where they’re needed, on time, because of a lack of resources….

“You hear the 911 calls where people are calling in the middle of a riot in Atlanta, and they say, we’re really sorry but there are no police officers to send to your aid right now.  

“It’s disgusting.”

Taylor explained further that raising money is itself important, but the plans to raise awareness and share the truth with the public are equally significant.

He continued:

“I think it’s important to educate the public that there’s a problem….

“No matter how much money we raise in this effort, it’s also very important that we let the world know that the police need resources and they need money.”

Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond
Sig Sauer Academy. Photo courtesy of Sig Sauer.

Taylor added that a further advantage to educating the public would be to improve the reputation of law enforcement as a career.

He told us:

“We also need to try to re-engage young people to be police officers, because that used to be such a noble and admirable thing, and now it’s becoming so difficult to be a police officer, and to have young people aspire to be in law enforcement.

“We want to communicate to the world that it’s ok to be a cop.”

Taylor expanded further upon Sig Sauer’s ties with law enforcement, saying:

“It’s in our DNA…. We work closely [at Sig Sauer Academy] with military and law enforcement…. 

“It’s a big part of who our Academy personnel are; they are all current or former military and cops… and so they are such thought leaders for our company for both training and equipment and importantly, mindset. 

“When we are developing a new product, we go talk to them.”

He added:

“Our CEO [Ron Cohen] served in the Israeli military for five years, and our dedication to supporting law enforcement and military runs so deep in this company…. The moment I mentioned the ‘refunding the police’ concept to our CEO, he immediately wanted to support this cause.”

Taylor concluded:

“We absolutely want to let the world know how much we support the thousands of police agencies and hundreds of thousands of officers who carry our products, and those who don’t….

“It doesn’t matter what product they use, they need our support.

“We are doing this because we have so much respect for our police officers, and it is very disappointing that a part of our society allowed something called ‘defund the police’ to become part of our culture, truly sad.”

Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond
Sig Sauer Academy. Photo courtesy of Sig Sauer.

In addition to its generous financial support, Sig Sauer will also be throwing its own marketing efforts behind the “Re-Fund the Police” campaign, amplifying the message on their social networks.

To learn more about Sig Sauer products and training, visit Sig Sauer at their website, SigSauer.com.  

You can also follow Sig Sauer on their Facebook page, their Twitter feed, their Instagram account, and their LinkedIn account.

Law Enforcement Today is immensely grateful for Sig Sauer’s strong stand to support all those who protect and serve, and we look forward to working together with Sig to “Re-Fund Our Police” and expand public understanding of the the daily good deeds of our protectors in blue, as well as the adverse effects of defunding the police.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

“Re-Fund the Police”: Law Enforcement Today launches nationwide campaign for Americans to back the blue

 

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – You back the Blue.  You support the police.  You quietly buy an officer a cup of coffee at your local coffeehouse.  You bring homemade cookies to your local police station.  You make it a point to thank an officer when you see one out in public.  

You watch the news, aghast to see crowds of anti-police protesters and rioters committing acts of violence and massive property damage.  You pray daily for the Blue family.

And yet, you may feel quite alone.

Politicians and the mainstream news media would have you think that police support is at an all-time low.

Some of you may have found it necessary to take down your Thin Blue Line flags from your house, or to scrape off the Thin Blue Line sticker from your vehicles, due to the potential for violent retaliation by those who hate the police.

Yes, it is the loudest voices that are the ugliest.  They revile and attack those who back the Blue.  They call, “Defund the Police!” at every turn, fueled by the lie that police officers are racists who are out to kill.

But you are actually in excellent company in your support of the blue family.

According to a Gallup poll, 85% of Americans support law enforcement.  That means supporters of the Thin Blue Line are 285 million strong.

Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond
85% of Americans support Law Enforcement

That would be 285 million who, like you, refuse join in the calls to defund the police.

And that means you are in the company of those who have logic and reason on their side.

After all, we at Law Enforcement Today bring you stories daily of exploding crime in police-defunded areas such as Austin, Portland,  New York City, or Los Angeles.

Homicide rates since defunding are up 58% in Atlanta, up 533% in Portland, and up 37% in Philadelphia.

Shootings in post-defunded New York City are up 64%, and they are up 51% in Los Angeles and up 18% in Chicago.

In addition, you have also followed our disturbing and often tragic stories of attacks on police officers in the era of police defunding.

Felonious attacks on police are on the rise, as documented by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Data Collection.  

According to LEOKA:

“The 50 law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the first 8 months of 2021 represent a 51.5 percent increase compared to the 33 officers killed during the same period in 2020.”

Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond
370 officers gave their lives in the line of duty in 2020

Also thanks to defunding, police departments across the country now lack training, resources, and equipment.  Ironically, calls for additional training in cultural awareness, de-escalation, and use of force often have to go unheeded due to the lack of financial resources.

Another irony is that the push to do away with less-lethal options such as Tasers and tear gas will simply lead to more fatal police shootings.

These alarming stories and statistics indicate beyond a doubt that defunding the police is absolutely the wrong move for this great country.  You know this, yet you and 285 million other voices are all too often silenced by social pressures as well as physical threats of violence.  

You are even told, “Silence is violence,” when it comes to refusing to stand against law enforcement.

Your voice matters, and you need to be heard.

As Law Enforcement Today National Spokesman Kyle Reyes points out:

“Americans have stood by in disbelief as this ‘defund the police’ movement has spread across America and ravaged our communities.  

“We’ve watched our cities burn, our officers be attacked and violence skyrocket.  

“It’s time to come out of the twilight zone.  It’s time to fight back.”

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Law Enforcement Today, the nation’s largest police-owned media outlet, has developed a way to make your voice heard and oppose those who would seek to remove funding from those who protect and serve.

It’s called the “Re-Fund the Police” campaign.

Reyes explains:

“We wanted to make the “Re-fund the Police” campaign something that everyone- whether you can spare $1 or $1 million – can be a part of.

“People will donate to politicians all day long in hopes that person will get elected and possibly make a difference.

“We are asking for people to come forward and support those who make a difference and save lives every single day.”

Through your generous donations, Law Enforcement today will direct a media and advertising blitz to rally other Americans who, like you, are done with attacks on law enforcement, both physical and financial.  

Here’s what the funds go towards:

  1. We’ve assembled a “strike team” of researchers and reporters who will delve deeply into the devastating impact that defunding the police has on communities and families.  They’re going after not just the “leaders” in Congress who are pushing to defund the police… but they’re exposing everyone from the local politicians and city councils who are behind it.  They’re also tracing the money of exactly who is funding this “defund the police” movement.
  2.  We will focus on publicizing all the negative effects of defunding police while expressing support for our brothers and sisters in blue.  The advertising blitz will be a show of support for police officers all across America.
 

In addition, we will be sending a team of reporters into our communities to share positive stories of law enforcement, stories which are consistently ignored by the mainstream media.

As a thank-you for your generosity in standing strong for the blue family, we are offering access codes for Law Enforcement Today’s Wounded Officer documentary and Border Crisis documentary.  In addition, we offer additional perks such as stickers and Thin Blue Line face masks or yard signs.

Donors are also able to honor or memorialize a member of the blue family.

For those who cannot afford to contribute, we invite you to be a part of a nationwide chain of prayer warriors.  

You can join our prayer chain along with other supporters who are willing to pray for our brothers and sisters in blue.  

Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond
We support those who protect and serve.

Also, when you sign up for our newsletter, we will keep you informed on how we are continuing to back the Blue, and bring you the stories the mainstream media will not touch.

Now to small businesses who are sick and tired of watching our cities burn as the “defund the police” movement spreads.

For business donors, we are pleased to offer a unique opportunity to make a difference in police departments across the country.

Reyes explains:

“We wanted to make sure small businesses could get in the fight, so we are rolling out the ‘adopt a police department’ program.”

Your business donation will be used to cover stories in the community of your choice, and expose those who are attempting to defund the police.  Those stories, if you choose, will also include a thank you to your business and a link back to your business website.  

In addition, your generous business donation will go toward advertising campaigns that highlight the negative effects of demonizing and defunding the police.

Chicago: 54th person so far this year arrested for shooting, killing or trying to kill someone while on felony bond
We’ve got your 6.

This will give you the opportunity to show to millions of Americans that, unlike “woke” anti-police organizations, you support and appreciate law enforcement.

Reyes points out:

“Corporate America rallied around the Black Lives Matter movement, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to a campaign that brought widespread looting and destruction in our cities.  

“This is an opportunity for businesses to show America that law and order and keeping people safe still means something to them.”

Please join your voice with Law Enforcement Today in this campaign to support all those who protect and serve us.

We invite you to visit the Re-Fund the Police website for further information.

If you have questions, or you want to start your own fundraising team, feel free to email us at [email protected]

It’s time to get in the fight.

______________

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
 
Facebook Follow First

 

Share:
Submit a Correction
Related Posts