The biggest question raised by this story from CWB Chicago isn’t “how is this guy getting his hands on guns?” It’s “why is a suspected murderer still out on the street, and what does it take to get your bond revoked in Cook County?”
Vincent Davidson is accused of shooting a couple on a city street in broad daylight back in 2017. A 26-year old woman who was shot in the back survived the attack, but 28-year old Tommie L. Jones was killed. A couple of months later Davidson was arrested and charged with Jones’ murder, and he was originally held without bail. However, after spending more than 2 1/2 years in custody without going to trial, a judge granted Davidson $300,000 bond in August of last year.
Less than a year later, in June of 2021, Davidson was pulled over for a traffic violation, and police discovered a loaded 9mm handgun in the center console of the car. He was hauled back into court and Judge Mary Marubio ordered Davidson’s bond revoked. Despite that, however, CWB Chicago reports that Davidson back on the streets after just a couple of months behind bars.
But somehow — exactly how is not clear in court records — Davidson was allowed out of jail again last month.
On Saturday, cops pulled Davidson over for a traffic violation. Once again, officers said they saw an open bottle of alcohol in his car. In his trunk, they allegedly found a handgun equipped with a switch to create automatic gunfire.
Prosecutors charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. He is facing an identical gun charge in connection with the June incident.
Judge Susana Ortiz on Sunday ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the murder case and held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the June gun case. She set bail in the new gun case at $200,000 and ordered Davidson to go onto electronic monitoring if he becomes eligible for release. Again.
Let’s hope that the second time is the charm here, and that Davidson isn’t once more inexplicably let loose despite having his bond revoked.
It’s been almost four years since Tommie Jones was shot and killed in Chicago, and while police made an arrest within two months, the murder case against Davidson has progressed at a snail’s pace. Some of that is undoubtably because of the overall slowdown in the criminal justice system since the start of the COVID pandemic, but it still doesn’t explain why Davidson’s case hadn’t gone to trial in the nearly 2 1/2 years between his arrest and the start of the pandemic’s shutdown orders in March of last year.
We’ve written before about the failures by Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx to get tough on violent criminals, and it seems like every day there’s a new headline. Sometimes it’s a repeat offender who received a sweetheart plea bargain, while other cases involve suspects accused of violent crimes who were released on bond only to be accused of committing more acts of violence after their release. There’s a pattern here: as long as these criminals don’t end up on the front page of the Chicago Tribune or the Sun-Times, they’re likely to get a slap on the wrist and be sent on their way instead of being sent to prison.
While Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Foxx herself try to pin the blame for Chicago’s violence on legal gun owners and the “lack” of federal gun control laws, it’s pretty clear that guys like Vincent Davidson don’t care how many restrictions are placed on the law-abiding. But as long as the focus remains on trying to prevent residents from exercising their right to keep and bear arms, as opposed to fixing the city’s broken court system, we’re going to see a lot of cases that bear a striking resemblance to Davidson’s experience – serious criminal charges, and an unserious response from the State.