Man sent to ‘restorative justice court’ for gun possession got caught with another gun, prosecutors say.

CHICAGO — After prosecutors charged Desmond Johnson with having a pistol in his waistband during a traffic stop last summer, they made the 20-year-old a deal. They would divert his case to the Restorative Justice Community Court and, if he completed the program, they’d drop the felony charge.

Johnson agreed, signing a “repair of harm agreement” on November 6 requiring him to do five things: create a resume and cover letter, get a job, attend a gun education class, complete a 10-week “financial literacy class,” and “create a vision board to show positive thought patterns, goals, and individuality.” 

He was also ordered not to possess any guns.

Now 21, Johnson’s restorative justice plan is in jeopardy. Prosecutors have charged him with having a tactical carbine in a backpack as he ran from police on Tuesday, March 5.

Desmond Johnson and an AM-15 similar to the one he is accused of having. (Chicago Police Department, Anderson Manufacturing)

Chicago cops responded to a “person with a gun” call near 63rd and Stony Island around 4:30 p.m. and quickly spotted three men matching descriptions provided by a 911 caller, Johnson’s arrest report said.

Specifically, Johnson was wearing a ski mask and black hoodie while carrying a camouflage backpack. He ran from the cops when they approached him, the report said.

As he sprinted down an alley, Johnson tossed his backpack onto a backyard fence, officials claim.
After arresting Johnson, the police recovered the pack and allegedly found an AM-15 .223 tactical carbine with an 11.5-inch barrel inside.

While police were escorting Johnson to a squad car, he told one of the other men he had been with that “it” was in the alley, the arrest report said.

He’s now charged with unlawful use of a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches.

Judge Charles Beach granted a detention petition that prosecutors filed on Wednesday. Beach expressed concern that Johnson, wearing a ski mask “during a day of 40 degree temps,” is accused of having the weapon across the street from Mt. Carmel High School in the middle of the afternoon. The judge also pointed to the fact that Johnson is now facing his second gun case in eight months as another reason he should remain in jail on the charge.

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