Another day, another story from Chicago’s crumbling (and crummy) criminal justice system. Police have charged 35-year old Jermaine Little with two counts of attempted murder after he allegedly tried to kill police officers while fleeing a traffic stop. As it turns out, this is far from the first time that Little’s had a run-in with the law. In fact, he’s had so many felony convictions that he should be on a first name basis with almost everyone in the Cook County courthouse.
Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy told the court this week that Little, who was out on bond after being arrested for assaulting two police officers back in February of this year, was pulled over by Chicago police on August 13th after driving away at a “high speed” from a location where gunshots had just been recorded by the city’s SpotShotter system. When officers spotted a half-smoked joint in the center console of Little’s vehicle, one of them tried to remove the man from his car. That’s when Little allegedly threw the car in reverse and hit the gas pedal.
The passenger-side door allegedly hit one officer, who managed to get out of the way. But Murphy said another officer, trapped by the driver’s door, was dragged backward by the car. That cop fired one shot at Little, but missed, according to Murphy.
Little continued to drag the cop with the car until they slammed into a concrete lane divider and an SUV, Murphy said. Little then allegedly drove forward and fled the scene. Police later found the Malibu abandoned.
The entire encounter was recorded by the officers’ bodyworn cameras, according to Murphy. And police have had Little’s driver’s license ever since he gave it to one of the officers during the ill-fated traffic stop, Murphy said.
He said the officer who was dragged suffered bruising to his entire lower body and cannot bear weight on his right ankle. The officer has been discharged from the hospital but remains on pain medications, Murphy said.
On Tuesday, police reportedly followed up on a tip and found Little hiding in the back seat of a car that was parked at a South Side Burger King. A backpack next to Little contained a loaded handgun, Murphy said. The same backpack was allegedly in Little’s car when police stopped him last week. Both the car’s owner and Little said the bag belonged to Little, according to Murphy.
Keep in mind, Little is a convicted felon, so possessing that gun would not only be a violation of Illinois law, but a federal felony as well.
As it turns out, Little was previously convicted of felony gun charges in 2004, 2008, 2011, and 2017, though it appears the convictions came with little to no time behind bars as a consequence.
Little’s most recent arrest led to his bond being revoked in the February case, so it might be awhile before he’s released yet again from the Cook County Jail. The fact, however, that it took another officer being injured before the criminal justice system recognized that a repeat felony offender might be a danger to the community should be seen as another glaring piece of evidence that Chicago’s violent crime won’t be solved through more gun control laws. Instead of trying to criminalize the Second Amendment or blame firearm manufacturers for violent crimes, officials like Mayor Lori Lightfoot and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx should be putting their energy into ensuring real consequences for the increasingly common acts of violence committed on the city’s streets.