FOP Furious Over Suspect Release, but State's Attorney Defends Decision

Two men were released from custody without being charged after allegedly trying to carjack a retired Chicago Police officer who fatally shot a third suspect during the incident Wednesday evening in the South Side Bridgeport neighborhood.

About 7:20 p.m., the men walked up to the retired officer as he sat in his vehicle in the 2900 block of South Shields and ordered him to get out, police said.

The ex-officer then opened fire, striking 20-year-old Lazarick West, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. West, who lived in the Homan Square neighborhood, was taken to Mercy Hospital and pronounced dead.

The other men, ages 18 and 19, were then taken into custody, police said. They were released Thursday without being charged.

Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham issued a statement Saturday afternoon claiming Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s decision to release the suspects without charges showed a bias toward criminals and against law enforcement.

“She is circumventing the criminal justice process by making decisions that should ultimately be made through a criminal trial,” Graham said. “Her reckless policies are placing the general public in danger and making it more difficult for police officers to do their job.”

The state’s attorney’s office said the detectives investigating the case played a part in the suspects’ release.

“We had insufficient evidence to meet our burden against either of the other two individuals arrested,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement. “This decision was made with the concurrence of the CPD detectives involved in the investigation.”

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