UNITED STATES NEWS

No charges for man who fired gun near pro-Palestinian rally outside Chicago, prosecutor says

Oct 24, 2023, 11:17 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Charges will not be filed against the man who fired a gunshot into the air near pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside an Israel solidarity event in Chicago’s northern suburbs, prosecutors said Monday evening after determining that he acted in self-defense.

A group of about 200 pro-Palestinian protesters had rallied Sunday evening outside a banquet hall in Skokie, where people were gathered to show solidarity with Israel, according to police.

Witnesses told the Chicago Sun-Times that a man drove his car toward the group. Lincolnwood Police, who were called to assist Skokie Police, have previously said in a statement the 39-year-old man fired a shot into the air before officers took him into custody.

A witness told the newspaper that the man’s car had been covered in Israeli flags.

After reviewing surveillance video and witness statements, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office said in an emailed statement that prosecutors will not file charges against the man who fired the gun. His name was not released.

Officials determined that the man “acted in self-defense upon being surrounded by a crowd and attacked by some of those individuals,” the statement said. “No charges will be filed in this case.”

The prosecutor’s office added that the man holds a valid firearm owners ID card and conceal carry license, and had no criminal history.

Also Sunday at the protest, another man coming out of the banquet hall wearing an Israeli flag as a cape pepper sprayed the crowd before he was arrested, the newspaper reported. No one was seriously hurt, but the pepper spray hit several protesters, a Chicago police officer and a Sun-Times reporter.

The state’s attorney office did not address inquiries Monday on whether charges would be filed against the person who pepper sprayed attendees.

Hatem Abudayyeh, national chair of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Monday that his group organized the protest along with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression to push back against Israeli aggression. He said that he heard a gunshot and saw someone attack the crowd with pepper spray.

“This is a concern we’re having across the country,” Abudayyeh said. “Palestinians, whether at protests or living their daily lives, are being attacked.”

He accused pro-Israeli political leaders in the U.S. of inflaming tensions.

“Not only do we have to work 24 hours a day to help educate the American public,” he said, but “we also have to defend our community from physical attacks on their lives,” he said.

Alison Pure-Slovin, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Midwest regional office, said in a statement Monday that her group organized the rally. The Simon Wiesenthal Center describes itself as a global Jewish human rights activist organization.

“It was an incredible display of solidarity and support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” she said in the statement, adding later Monday: “Sadly, things escalated out of fear.”

The event was organized on private property “so that we could come together as a community. It was disturbing that pro-Palestinian/Hamas demonstrators blocked the roads, hindering access to those who came in peace,” Pure-Slovin said in an email.

Police in U.S. cities as well as federal authorities have been on high alert for violence driven by antisemitic or Islamophobic sentiments as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.

In Minneapolis, police said in a statement that witnesses reported Sunday that a vehicle drove through a rally held in support for Palestinians in Gaza. The Anti-War Committee released a statement saying that a “hostile driver threatened protesters with his car and a box cutter” and video circulating on social media showed protesters kicking and hitting a car before the person inside drove away.

Minneapolis police Sgt. Garrett Parten said Monday that police were still investigating and trying to “figure out what was true and what was not.” Police said that no injuries were reported and there were no arrests.

Sunday’s rally in Skokie was a little more than a week after a landlord in Plainfield, Illinois, was charged with a hate crime after he was accused of fatally stabbing a 6-year-old Muslim boy and seriously wounding his mother. Police said he singled out the victims because of their faith and as a response to the war.

___

Savage is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

United States News

A vendor selling Street Sense, a local paper that covers issues related to the homeless and employs...

Associated Press

Technology built the cashless society. Advances are helping the unhoused so they’re not left behind

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Littlejohn remembers the days when lots of people had a couple of dollars to spare to buy a copy of Street Sense, the local paper that covers issues related to the homeless and employs unhoused individuals as its vendors. Today, he’s finding fewer people are walking around with spare change. Even […]

33 minutes ago

Smoke rises from the Gaza Strip after Israeli strikes on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Leo Corr...

Associated Press

Israel presses on with Gaza bombardments, including in areas where it told civilians to flee

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli warplanes struck parts of the Gaza Strip overnight into Saturday in relentless bombardments, including some of the dwindling slivers of land Palestinians had been told to evacuate to in the territory’s south. The latest strikes came a day after the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution demanding an […]

6 hours ago

FILE - A marquee promoting a fundraiser with President Joe Biden is on display outside the Lunt-Fon...

Associated Press

Big money, fancy homes, old jokes — inside Joe Biden’s fundraisers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — If you’re a Democrat with money to burn and friends in high places, you can spend thousands on tickets to a fundraiser with President Joe Biden. If not, keep reading to see what you’re missing. With an election year around the corner, Biden is accelerating his fundraising to prepare for an […]

9 hours ago

FILE - Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaks to media about Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, on Cap...

Associated Press

New US aid for Ukraine by year-end seems increasingly of out reach as GOP ties it to border security

WASHINGTON (AP) — A deal to provide further U.S. assistance to Ukraine by year-end appears to be increasingly out of reach for President Joe Biden. The impasse is deepening in Congress despite dire warnings from the White House about the consequences of inaction as Republicans insist on pairing the aid with changes to America’s immigration […]

9 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidates from left, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov....

Associated Press

DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy will appear in northwest Iowa days after a combative GOP debate

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidates will cross paths again in Iowa just days after a fractious debate and as the countdown to the caucuses nears the one-month mark. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy will make their case — this time without the others […]

9 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks to Texas state tr...

Associated Press

Appeals court upholds gag order on Trump in Washington case but narrows restrictions on his speech

A federal appeals court in Washington on Friday largely upheld a gag order on former President Donald Trump in his 2020 election interference case but narrowed the restrictions on his speech.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

No charges for man who fired gun near pro-Palestinian rally outside Chicago, prosecutor says