Monday, July 9, 2012
Why is it when Black law abiding citizens yell hate crime once police listen. But when a race out side of African American screams it noone says or does shit it takes a group to march it to the police station to get the charge.
That's about the only thing prosecutors and relatives of those arrested agree on.
Prosecutors say the men in the limousine bailed out of the car around 1:10 a.m. Sunday at Clark Street and Cornelia Avenue, just south of Wrigley Field, and began punching and kicking three other people -- including an off-duty Chicago police officer -- for no apparent reason.
But relatives of the four men arrested and charged with mob action say they were shooting a party scene on the street when they were taunted and called the N-word.
One of the men from the limo -- Corry Simmons, 32 -- was grabbed and punches were thrown, said Lillian Nichols, the mother of one of the other men arrested, Edward Robinson.
"This is a big misunderstanding," Nichols said after the four appeared in court. "It was just like a brawl but they were the only ones arrested."
During a bond hearing, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said the four men -- Simmons, Robinson, his cousin Donald Robinson Jr. and Alvin L. Goffin -- were riding in a limo when they got out at 2485 N. Clark Street and began punching and kicking people.
Scaduto did not say what started the brawl, but said Simmons approached a man and punched him in the face and fractured his jaw. The 27-year-old will have to return to the hospital to either have surgery or have his jaw wired, she said.
Witnesses saw the four men running in the streets and striking other people, including an off-duty police officer, Scaduto said. One man was struck from behind in the back of his head by Donald Robinson, Scaduto said. Another man was leaving a pizza restaurant and was punched in the neck by Simmons, she said. When the man fell to the ground, he was kicked in the chest and ribs by Edward Robinson, Scaduto said.
The four then walked south on Clark and "caused much disruption in the business district," Scaduto said. They were followed by witnesses and some of the victims, she said.
As Scaduto spoke, Simmons shouted to the judge, "Not true your honor," and was quieted by his attorney.
The four's court-appointed public defender, Mike Pannitto, said they all deny the charges. "It seems unlikely they would film themselves committing crimes in the street," he said.
Pannitto described the men as fathers who traveled to the North Side to film a music video.
After the court hearing, friends and family members wiped away tears as they lashed out at authorities.
Nichols said the four were taunted with racial slurs and the confrontation soon turned physical when a man in the crowd grabbed Simmon's from behind.
According to family, the four men are part of a business called Coed Music and they either performed in or filmed music videos. She said they were working on a video Saturday night for a rap song about celebrating life and good times. The men were filming near Wrigleyville to capture the spirited night life. They were riding in a limo loaned to them by a friend, she said.
"My son was making great strides in his career," Nichols said.
She said her son was trying to overcome his troubled past to become a role model and mentor in his Lawndale community. "For this to happen, it starts (the trouble) all over again. It's very disheartening."
Nichols said there were many men involved in the fight. But the four West Side men are the only ones facing severe charges.
"It was just a brawl," she said. "But they were the only ones arrested. It's so unfair.W