Weis on Fenger: Code of Silence Must End

Fourth teen charged Thursday with Derrion Albert's death

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tasos-Katopodis
    Chicago police Supt. Jody Weis

    Chicago police Supt. Jody Weis had mixed feelings about collaring the fourth suspect in the beating death of Derrion Albert.

    On the one hand, he's happy that witnesses turned the suspect in. But he's not happy about how much time it took to do it.

    "Thankfully, the right person was brought to justice, but it should not have taken that long," Weis said at a press conference, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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    Police Supt. Jody Weis says he's pleased a critical person in the Derrion Albert beating case was arrested, but said it shouldn't have taken so long for witnesses to come forward.

    A 14-year-old boy was charged Thursday in connection with the beating death of a high school honors student because of information provided by witnesses. 

    The teen, who has not been named publicly, was taken into custody Thursday with his mother and an attorney present, but did not make a statement.

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    Residents and community leaders say kids who are causing trouble lack positive leadership in their lives.

    His family left Cook County Juvenile Court on Friday in a hurry to avoid cameras and reporters.

    With the arrest, Weis said police believe they've now charged the four "main offenders who struck the critical blows," but are still looking for three other suspects in the case. 

    In many other cases, police aren't getting the help they need from witnesses, and Weis said the code of silence that seems to be prevalent in Chicago neighborhoods needs to stop.

    "I know there’s a strong force out there that’s keeping you from coming forward. But, please understand: today's victims will be tomorrow’s offenders," he said.

    Christian Fenger High School student Derrion Albert was an innocent bystander in a fight between two groups of students near the Roseland neighborhood school on Sept. 24, Cook County prosecutors said. He was attacked and beaten and later died from his injuries.

    Days later, three South Side teens were indicted in his murder. First-degree murder charges against a fourth teen were later dropped.

    The assault, captured on videotape, drew outrage from the community and from the White House.