Mom, activist claim prosecutors made false allegations to support now-dropped murder charge

Carlishia Hood (left) and surveillance images from restaurant surveillance video. | Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — The woman who faced first-degree murder charges after prosecutors said she encouraged her son to shoot a man who attacked her inside a Chicago fast food restaurant spoke about what happened during a Facebook Live stream on Wednesday night. During the feed, the woman and other participants contradicted the original version of events that prosecutors presented in court last week.

Prosecutors charged Carlishia Hood and her 14-year-old son with first-degree murder one week ago, only to drop all charges Monday after a bystander’s phone video went viral, giving the public a fuller view of what happened.

Hood sued the city of Chicago and five Chicago police officers on Tuesday, claiming malicious prosecution, false arrest, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, which approved the murder charge, is not named in the lawsuit.

Citing high-quality surveillance video and audio, prosecutors last week said Hood went into the restaurant late on June 18 while her son waited in their car. At the service counter, Hood and a stranger, 32-year-old Jeremy Brown, got into an argument. Assistant State’s Attorney Anne McCord said Hood texted her son and pointed at him as he sat in the car while the argument unfolded.

The boy took Hood’s firearm from the glove compartment—Hood is a concealed carry license holder—and stood in the restaurant doorway, prosecutors alleged last week. When Brown violently punched Hood in the face, prosecutors said her son shot him in the back from across the restaurant.

Hood revealed many details about her experiences over the past week during the Facebook Live stream hosted by community activist Jedidiah Brown. But one of the most surprising was this: Although prosecutors said her son stayed in the car while she went into the restaurant, Hood says she told her son to return to the car so he would not be exposed to the brewing argument.

Near the end of the 36-minute-long stream, Brown spoke with someone off-screen, but the unseen person could not be heard clearly. Brown asked the person if they wanted to say it on camera, then personally provided a stunning claim: Hood never texted her son to ask him to do anything.

That directly contradicts McCord’s allegation in court that “during the course of the verbal altercation [Hood] began texting her son and pointing at him outside.”

“She never told him, she never texted him, she never called him. She never asked him to do anything,” Brown said. “She protected her son. She told him to go to the car…”

At that point, Hood walked into camera view.

“For a fact, a big fact, and anybody who truly knows me, ok, my kids are my everything. I wouldn’t dare have my son, I already knew something was off, but, like I said, for the most part, I would never put my kids in a situation like that, neither one of them,” she said.

“I didn’t even want my son to witness it. That’s why I said to go to the car because he overheard the argument,” Hood told viewers Wednesday.

Brown appeared ready to say even more, but he abruptly ended the stream after a woman, possibly Hood, was heard crying off-camera.

Hood’s claims stand in stark contrast to the state’s initial allegation that she “instructed her son to continue to shoot and kill” Jeremy Brown as he fled the restaurant after being shot in the back. The prosecutor, McCord, said Hood also instructed her son to shoot a bystander inside the restaurant who had laughed at the altercation. He did not do that.

Hood and her son got into their car and headed home after the shooting, McCord said.

They turned themselves in last week after Chicago police released snippets of restaurant surveillance video and asked the public to help identify the woman and gunman.

The allegations against Hood began falling apart when a bystander’s video of the altercation provided more detail about what happened.

“Lady! Get your food!” Jeremy Brown yells as the clip begins.

Hood appears to tell Brown to get back in his car.

“Who? Get in the car?” Brown yells, balling up his right hand. “Get your food! If you say one more thing, I’m gonna knock you out.”

They continued to exchange words for a couple of seconds.

“I’m gonna knock you out,” Brown says as he lands a full-force punch on Hood, who is out of camera view.

“Say one more thing, I’m gonna knock you out,” Brown threatened before punching Hood two more times.

As the third punch is thrown, a gunshot is heard.

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