The family of 7-year-old Serenity Broughton say they are angry and frustrated after learning that the man suspected of shooting and killing her and injuring her younger sister is back out on the streets.
“The person they had they just let them go, he gets to walk free and that’s where the frustration is coming in,” said girl's mother Danielle Broughton. “We want justice to be served and it has not been.”
Her family is calling out Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office. They’re demanding answers as to why charges were not filed in the high profile case.
“It was found that he was in the area so what else do they need,” asked the girls' grandmother Regina Broughton. “Those are couple questions that us as a family want to ask, what else would they need?”
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Serenity and her sister were shot last month in Belmont Central while sitting in their family’s parked car. Police said they were innocent victims, coming back from church. The girl were getting ready to head out on vacation with their grandmother.
“The fact is they were shooting at me because they thought I was somebody else and they missed and hit my girls,” said the girls' father Michael Broughton. “I had my baby in my hands and I watched her go. I held her. I was holding her when it happened.”
Detectives initially told the family they had more than enough evidence to nail the suspect, including the suspect’s vehicle, evidence they found inside the vehicle, and cell phone records. The State’s Attorney’s Office told detectives that wasn’t enough.
“This is an atrocity and it’s happening much too frequently. It’s happening much too often and there’s nothing being done about it,” said Broughton. “There’s people going unpunished for theses crimes. It’s unfathomable.”
The family told NBC 5 they have been trying to schedule a meeting with Foxx to ask her why charges haven't been filed. They believe she’s not doing enough to protect the people who elected her into office.
“I feel like that office they have a responsibility,” she said. “Justice, it’s set up to do justice for whom, justice for whom?”
Hours after the family's interview with NBC 5, they got a phone call from Foxx, who told them she warned detectives prior to them submitting the case that police didn’t have enough evidence to move forward.
Detectives continued to present the case, however—twice.
The family said Foxx reassured them that the gunman will be held accountable. The family said they will wait and see.
The State’s Attorney’s Office issued the following statement prior to the phone call with the family.
“As Cook County State Attorney, and as a mother, I am committed to ensuring justice and accountability on behalf of victims of violent crime, especially children. As prosecutors, we have an ethical obligation to review the facts, evidence, and law in each case and only bring charges when there is sufficient evidence to support a charge. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners as we work towards justice on behalf of the People of Cook County.”