“Can someone explain to me what is going on?” — Bangers Befuddled As Downstate Prosecutor Sues Street Gangs

While Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx refuses to enforce our state’s theft laws; allows violent gang members to escape weapons charges if they merely deny that a gun is theirs; and fights to let more and more defendants go free without posting bail, her counterpart in downstate Kankakee County is taking a different approach.

He’s suing gangbangers.

Rowe | Facebook

The Kankakee Daily Journal was in court when defendants began showing up on Tuesday:

“Can someone explain to me what is going on?” one alleged member said as he stood before Judge Adrienne W. Albrecht in a county courtroom.

The hearing, which drew a crowd of about 50 people outside the courtroom door, involved two reputed gang members. It was the first step in a process against 67 people State’s Attorney Jim Rowe has taken action against. The three lawsuits filed against two gangs and 67 members implicates them in 147 offenses, most occurring in the last three years.

Albrecht answered the question by explaining they were being sued for their behavior as a member of one of the gangs, as well as for monetary damages for taxpayers’ money spent by law enforcement dealing with this problem.

“This is a civil case,” Albrecht said.

Because the case is civil rather than criminal, a public defender is not needed, nor is a request for recognizance bonds.

How ‘bout you cash me in civ’ court, how ‘bout dat?

When [the defendants] departed, they possessed the business card of Assistant State’s Attorney Deborah Garrigus, who is heading the prosecution. She has an open-door policy, and said she is willing to listen to the defendants.

“We are willing to talk [settlement],” Garrigus said, meaning the defendants can admit to being a gang member and will abide by the state’s orders to not further associate with a gang and pay restitution.

And, get a load of this Rowe guy. A prosecutor who actually fights criminals instead of coddling them:

Provisions in the Illinois Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act allow prosecutors to go after the assets of the gangs and their members.

”The cars and houses from which they commit these crimes — and if they violate the civil injunction, we will put them in jail,” Rowe said when the suits were filed.

Enforcing the law. It’d never work in Chicago. We’re special.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com