Report claims officials could find only 2 times when people on bail for gun cases contributed to Chicago’s violence. Please, allow us to help.

On Wednesday morning, WBEZ reported that the office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department “were scrambling to find evidence” last summer to support their claims that low bond amounts from the county’s judges were contributing to the city’s violent crime rates. The report was based on a couple of exchanges between city leaders and mayoral staffers that were recently released in a trove of hacked city emails.

“The mayor’s office and CPD were able to find only two examples of bail decisions leading to new gun crimes” when a columnist for Crain’s Chicago Business asked for specific incidents, WBEZ reported.

That may surprise CWBChicago readers almost as it surprised the members of our team who have reported on dozens of instances in which people have been charged with murder and other violent felonies while on bond for gun crimes.

Far from appearing to be a scramble, the email exchange among city staffers reads like a typical effort to put together some examples for the Crain’s report rather than compiling an exhaustive list. And, WBEZ failed to mention that the exchange included a Chicago Tribune report that provides examples beyond the two that city workers discussed.

“There are also plenty of examples we can point to here,” a top press aide to Lightfoot said of the lengthy Tribune story.

Then, there is our own reporting. All totaled, CWBChicago reporters have identified 19 people who are accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while on bond for other felonies. There are 27 victims involved in those alleged crimes. For 2020, CWB’s team identified 38 people who were charged with killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone while on bail for felonies. Those cases involve 43 victims. Our researchers have also identified 16 people who were charged with killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone while on bond for felonies in 2019.

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Here are some recent cases in which people are charged with committing murder, attempted murder, or shooting someone while on bail for gun cases. Perhaps this will help reporters and researchers in the future.

  • Demond Goudy, one of two gunmen prosecutors say killed 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams as she sat in her father’s car in a McDonald’s drive-thru last month, was on bond for four separate felony cases, including one for illegal gun possession at the time of the alleged crime, according to prosecutors.
  • On April 5, Semaj Dixon chased down and killed another man while he was supposed to be on electronic monitoring for a pending gun case, prosecutors said.
  • Jesus Moro is accused of killing a gang rival over a haircut in February. He was on bond for allegedly firing a handgun outside an elementary school in Little Village at the time.
  • Demetris Johnson was on bail for armed habitual criminal and escape when he allegedly escaped from electronic monitoring and killed a man on January 27.
  • Xavier Encarnacion was on bail for his third gun case when he allegedly participated in the murder of a man he perceived to be a rival gang member in January.
  • In March, prosecutors said Shevell Wilson helped kill a rival gang member last summer after he posted $200 to get out of jail on felony gun charges.
  • Jalen Saulsberry, accused of killing a retired Chicago Fire Department lieutenant during a botched carjacking on December 3, was on a recognizance bond for gun charges at the time of the murder.
  • Prosecutors charged Jermaine Morris with trying to kill an off-duty cop on New Year’s Day. Morris was released on bail for being a felon in possession of a firearm two weeks before the alleged slaying attempt.

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