Police in the village of Robbins, which is southwest of Chicago, announced that no charges have been filed against three teenagers who stole a Kia in February and then crashed it into 70-year-old Donald Carter’s car, killing him.
Carter’s family has been outraged that no charges have been forthcoming against the teenagers.
Robbins Mayor Darren Bryant fired Police Chief David Sheppard in April following the incident after the chief repeatedly questioned behavior coming from the mayor’s office, according to The Southland Journal.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Sheppard said he believed that his questioning of directions he received from Bryant in the handling of Carter’s vehicle factored into his dismissal. Sheppard said the vehicle was taken to a large building where public works vehicles and road salt are stored to keep it enclosed because state police had not yet processed it for evidence in the crash investigation.
Sheppard was terminated after ostensibly questioning Bryant’s purported requests to break chain-of-custody rules by moving the vehicle involved in the accident. Even after being advised that moving the vehicle could result in evidentiary chain-of-custody issues, as well as potentially corrupting the evidence, Mayor Bryant requested that it be moved anyway.
The former police chief said he was contacted by the mayor and told the car had to be moved because it was blocking public works vehicles. Sheppard contacted the public works director, who said that wasn’t true.
Sheppard is now considering suing the village for wrongful termination.
Now that the former police chief is gone, it appears the entire case is magically being dropped.
At the time of the incident, police reported that all three boys were 13. That has been updated according to spokesman Sean Howard who stated on Friday that their ages were 17, 15, and 14, meaning at least one was of legal age to drive. When asked why the police said the boys were 13, Howard commented that he didn’t know how they got that information.
The Robbins Police Department submitted its finding on the accident about six weeks ago to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
(Video Credit: ABC7)
“Our detectives did a full-scale investigation. We got all the evidence and it’s with the state,” Howard asserted.
On Feb. 12, 2023, at approximately 2:30 pm, a police officer saw a Kia with a broken driver’s side window speeding north. He followed the car, according to police reports.
The car slammed into a Ford Taurus that was being driven by Carter. The elderly man was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Two days following the fatal crash, Robbins Mayor Darren Bryant and former police Chief David Sheppard held a news conference. They announced the boys were released to their parents. Sheppard said he had to because it was the law but it was apparent he wasn’t happy about it.
Under Illinois law, police can hold individuals 12 years and younger for six hours and individuals 12 years and older for 24 hours, Sheppard explained.
Robbins police noted that within 24 hours following the crash, they couldn’t gather the evidence needed in the case without a warrant. That resulted in the teens being released to their parents, according to Sheppard.
Howard remarked that the warrant was eventually executed. He did not provide any other details.
“We’re confident that every scope was examined,” Howard vaguely asserted, attempting to justify the refusal to file charges against the teens.
Carter’s family is still seeking justice in the case.
'Stop passing the buck': Nearly two weeks after Robbins retiree killed in crash with teens who allegedly stole SUV, family demands charges. https://t.co/NnvhWcmrg7 pic.twitter.com/tKCx159c9j
— Eric Horng (@EricHorngABC7) February 25, 2023
The victim’s son Desmond Carter remarked in February that he was upset the three teenagers were released without being charged, according to the Chicago Tribune. The family wants the teenagers to be charged and held accountable for their crimes.
“There’s so much hurt and there’s so much anger behind it mostly because these kids were allowed to go home to the very people who obviously weren’t making sure they knew where these kids were in the first place,” Carter charged.
“I’m furious. I’m pissed off,” Dominique Harriott, daughter of Donald Carter Sr., declared according to NBC News 5 Chicago. “My daddy is supposed to be here. I’m pissed off they took my daddy before his time.”
“My uncle was literally minding his own business and his life was taken senselessly because our system is broken,” Tracy Olawumi, Carter’s niece, asserted.
“I’m very sorry for your loss because this is something, definitely, that could have been prevented in my opinion, and I want to try to work toward making some kind of penalty that these juveniles that understand, that we’re serious about that you have to stop this,” Sheppard told the family after the accident, according to CBS News.
People are outraged that the teens are going to walk over the death of Carter:
Well, of course not, the teens are black … It’s not like they look like Daniel Perry
— Recharge Freedom (@RechargeFreedom) May 22, 2023
How is this even possible? A car was stolen. Someone was killed. Make this make sense.
— Lorrie C (@LorrieBoca) May 22, 2023
The message here is… “law abiding citizens…. You are on your own”.
— Parvenu (@GracefulParvenu) May 22, 2023
Not in democratic cities.
— Department Of Injustice (@DepartmentOfIn7) May 22, 2023
No charges? It’s like they want them to go out and do the crime again, disgusting.
— SteveCares (@Bluedy76) May 22, 2023
Way to embolden the bad guys, Chicago. No wonder so many people feel the need for a side arm.
— grumpy old bat (@SameOldNancy) May 22, 2023
Why? This is why people are starting to take justice in there own hands. Dangerous precedent.
— crypto_dogg888 (@CryptoDogg888) May 21, 2023
Shocking, more corruption from Robbins. Voters there need to know that this Mayor deems them second rate citizens, whose lives can be sacrificed for whatever he deems is the greater good that day. You let a murderer go, you have blood on your hands.
— Listen to the Scientists (@realism_science) May 21, 2023
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