As politicians prepare to give “straight talk” on electronic monitoring, here are some cases to consider

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart will participate in an online meeting called “Straight Talk on Electronic Monitoring” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, January 10. Several politicians, including three state legislators who voted in favor of a new law that decriminalized electronic monitoring absences of less than 48 hours, are listed as hosts. They are: Sen. Rob Martwick (10th); Rep. Ann Williams (11th); and Rep. Margaret Croke (12th). Also, Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (6th), who voted in favor of the legislation, will moderate. If you’d like to participate, RSVP here.

Here are some recent cases involving people who were supposed to be on home confinement with electronic monitoring for pending felony charges:

Never touched guns before

Jerrell Johnson, 29, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm on March 31. He went home on electronic monitoring two days later by posting a $2,000 bail deposit. That went fine until July 19, when sheriff’s investigators found his ankle monitor lying in on a street with its alarm sounding. Johnson wasn’t attached to it.

Four months later, Johnson sped away from cops who tried to stop him for a traffic violation in South Holland, prosecutors said. He allegedly ran stop signs, drove across lawns, barrelled through red lights, tore into a park, and crashed into a tree.

Four men, including Johnson, ran from the car, prosecutors said. Johnson, wearing distinctive clothing, dropped a handgun equipped with a 50-round ammunition magazine and an automatic fire switch as he ran, prosecutors said. Cops arrested him in a yard. Two of the other men were found in a garage.

Police found another loaded gun near the gas pedal of the car Johnson was driving, prosecutors said. A backpack in the back seat was filled with “multiple handguns and drum magazines,” all of which were loaded, an assistant state’s attorney said during Johnson’s bail hearing.

Officers took Johnson to a hospital after he complained of health problems. After doctors released him, Johnson ran from the cops who were taking him back to jail, prosecutors said. He allegedly ran two blocks while handcuffed before the officers caught up with him.

Prosecutors said he told police he didn’t want to go to jail because he had warrants, that he never touched guns before, that he bought his car for $3,000 in a Jewel parking lot, and he left the home where he was supposed to stay on electronic monitoring because people were shooting at him.

He is currently being held without bail.

A gun on the ironing board

Maurice Leonard, 29, escaped from electronic monitoring while awaiting trial for possessing a stolen motor vehicle. Authorities put him back on electronic monitoring.

Sheriff’s investigators went to his home in September after they received notifications of several violations, prosecutors said. As they were arriving, Leonard allegedly walked up to them, claimed he had been at the laundromat, and asked if he was in trouble because his kids were upstairs alone. Then, he ran away, prosecutors said.

The investigators went to Leonard’s home and found two toddlers alone with a .380 handgun on an ironing board in the living room, according to prosecutors. The gun, thankfully, was not loaded. Leonard’s fiancé took custody of the children.

Leonard remained on the loose until December 3. That’s when he allegedly robbed a woman in Edgewater. Police tracked the victim’s phone and found Leonard at a West Side cellular store. He was carrying money that had the victim’s name written on it, prosecutors said.

He is now being held without bail.

A “peacekeeper”

Defense attorneys say Kendall Reed is a 31-year-old “peacekeeper” for Chicago CRED, the anti-violence group run by possible mayoral candidate Arne Duncan.

Prosecutors say he is a convicted robber and armed robber who escaped from electronic monitoring less than two weeks after he was charged with another gun case and battering police officers in May. He allegedly remained on the loose for months until authorities found him in Wisconsin.

Police who pulled Reed over for a traffic violation on May 18 noticed a strong smell of burnt cannabis coming from his car, prosecutors said. He was initially compliant as cops asked him to stop out, but he pushed an officer to the ground and ran away when they tried to detain him, according to the allegations. That officer allegedly suffered injuries to their head and back.

Other cops chased Reed. He punched one of them in the face two times and the other injured their leg while tackling Reed, prosecutors continued. A loaded gun was allegedly found under the driver’s seat of Reed’s car.

Prosecutors said the entire incident was recorded on body cameras.

During his bond hearing in May, Reed denied hitting anyone and claimed that officers ordered him to get into his car at gunpoint and he complied. He then walked out of the hearing as Judge Charles Beach prepared to set bail.

Reed went home on electronic monitoring a couple of days later by posting a $4,500 deposit.

On May 28, sheriff’s investigators received an ankle monitor tampering alert and a communications alert from Reed’s electronic monitoring device, prosecutors said. Authorities went to his home repeatedly for two days, but the people who lived there with him said they hadn’t seen him since the 28th.

Police eventually arrested him in Wisconsin and extradited him back to Chicago.

He is currently being held without bail.

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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