In Chicago, most shooters never face charges. This frightening fact was exposed by DNAInfo Chicago's Mark Konkol, who used police data to determine that justice is not always served. DNAInfo analyzed information from the Police Department and discovered that in 2012, just 111 of the 1,893 "non-lethal" shootings reported resulted in charges being filed against the shooter.
The remaining cases are either open, have been suspended or "cleared indefinitely." This essentially means that police knew who the shooter was, but were unable to successfully file charges because of the "it ain't what you know, it's what you can prove" factor. Still, it's discouraging to think that this happened 94 percent of the time. That's an increase over 2011, when 91.5 percent of shooters dodged charges.
The reason? Nobody wants to be a "snitch." Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy broke it down to Konkol:
To make cases prosecutable we need cooperative witnesses — and those go out the window right up front. We have a victim today who is an offender tomorrow. It's a vicious circle. There are a lot of people who are not going to cooperate," he said. "That's why we have to take on the no-snitch issue."
Again, nobody wants to face the backlash that comes with being known as someone who provided information to the police. That's why there's no foreseeable end to the "vicious circle" McCarthy spoke of.