Teen on Probation for Carjacking Now Facing Murder Charges in Chicago

AP Photo/Teresa Crawford

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson can blame Richard Nixon for the city's crime woes all he wants, but the truth is that it is living politicians who bear much of the responsibility for the dangerous streets. Johnson's complaints about the policies of the long-dead Republican president have been widely and rightfully mocked on social media, but the mayor should also be called out for refusing to address the attitude and ideology of Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx. 


It's Foxx's office, after all, that's responsible for prosecuting violent offenders in the Windy City. All too often, individuals who are eligible for serious jail time are let off the hook with probation and a short jail sentence, even when they're accused of some very violent offenses. The court system, meanwhile, is routinely releasing violent suspects ahead of trial, even when they're already on probation for previous crimes. In fact, CWB Chicago says that's happened at least twenty times this year; most recently in the case of Tashawn Johnson.

Johnson was already on probation for a 2022 carjacking when he was arrested earlier this year and charged with attempted aggravated battery. After he failed to show up for a court hearing a warrant was issued for his arrest, and he spent a short time in the Cook County jail. Less than three weeks later, police say he shot and robbed his neighbor. 

Johnson’s 52-year-old neighbor had just arrived home from work and was in the process of cleaning his Ford Mustang when he saw Johnson standing nearby in the first block of North Mayfield around 8:53 p.m. on June 13.

As the victim cleaned the Mustang, Johnson got into the front passenger seat without permission and asked him if he had any weed, Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Walsh said during a detention hearing.

After the man told him he did not have any weed, Johnson pulled a loaded firearm with an extended ammunition magazine from his waistband and pointed it at the victim, said Walsh.

“Give me your money, motherf******,” Johnson allegedly ordered.

Walsh said the victim grabbed for Johnson’s gun and pointed it toward the ground, sparking a short struggle for control of the firearm. During the fight, Johnson allegedly pulled the trigger, striking the victim in the pelvic area.

The victim told officials Johnson walked back toward his building after the shooting, and he heard someone yelling “Tay! Tay! Tay!” after being shot. A gold chain his wife had given him was missing.

“The dude that shot me, his name is Tay,” the victim allegedly told Chicago police officers at the scene. “He lives right there on the first floor… He tried to shoot me in the head.”


Johnson is just 16 years old and is already a convicted felon. He's also now facing a litany of charges in connection with the shooting, including attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, robbery, unlawful vehicular invasion, and possession of a stolen firearm.

Why was Johnson out on probation for a carjacking that took place just two years ago, and why wasn't his probation revoked after he failed to show up for his court date in May? 

As much as Mayor Johnson might want to pin the blame on Tricky Dick, I don't think Nixon had anything to do with the teen's catch-and-release experience in the criminal justice system. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Cook County prosecutors and judges, and as long as they're willing to turn a blind eye to these criminal acts, the good people of Chicago need to be ready to protect themselves from the prolific offenders allowed to populate the city's mean streets. 

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