CHICAGO SUN TIMES / Michael Sneed
Sneed exclusive . . .
Get shorty . . .
Sneed has learned Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has decided to personally prosecute the four men charged in the murder of Antonio Smith, 9, the youngest victim of gang violence this year.
◆ The alleged shooter in the fourth grader’s Aug. 20 murder reportedly stammered: “I just hit a shorty. I just hit a shorty,” as he hopped into a getaway car.
◆ Alvarez termed the shooting “an execution” and has been so angered by the violence she opted to red letter the killing, which took place in the 1200 block of East 71st Street.
◆ Smith, an honor student and pee wee football player, was upset with his mother after she told him he couldn’t have a cupcake and had just run out of their apartment when he was shot.
◆ Charged in the case are Derrick Allmon, 19; Jabari Williams, 22, Michael Baker, 19, and Paris Denard, 19; three of whom live within blocks of where the shooting took place. Police say all four were members of the Sircon City faction of the Gangster Disciples street gang.
Alvarez took an immediate personal interest in the case due to the heinous nature of the crime, but also because it effectively symbolized her continuing call for stronger truth in sentencing laws for gangbangers convicted of gun crimes.
The alleged shooter, Allmon, served about half of a three-year sentence for a previous gang-related gun charge, and was out of prison just 19 days when he shot Smith six times after encountering him while looking to wreak havoc on rivals.
Allmon was walking through a backyard on his way toward two men he believed were rival gang members when he stumbled upon Smith standing alone in a Grand Crossing backyard. Smith yelled “Hey!” when he saw Allmon.
Thinking Smith was warning the rivals, Allmon shot him, according to police.
“How many more children are going to be slaughtered on our streets by these gang members who are out running around carrying guns like they’re carrying cell phones?” Alvarez said.
Alvarez has been urging legislators to toughen Illinois’ penalties for repeat felony gun offenders and known and admitted street gang members who possess firearms.
“When a felon is convicted for carrying a firearm in public, the average time that he ends up serving is 15 months. When a violent street gang member is caught carrying a firearm in public, the average sentence served is 12 months. Studies show us that 63 percent of these offenders will re-offend within 12 months of release, and that they are four times as likely to commit a homicide,” Alvarez said.
Summers in the city . . .
Sneed has learned first-time candidate Kurt Summers has quietly mounted a formidable campaign for city treasurer.
On Saturday, Summers was expected to file nearly three times the required 12,500 signatures needed to get on the Feb. 24 ballot. And Sneed hears he’s hauling in roughly $10,000 a day to support his upstart campaign.
Summers had a head start when Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed him in October to fill the remaining three months of Stephanie Neely’s term, starting Dec. 1.
The day after he won unanimous City Council approval for the appointment, Summers launched a campaign within a campaign he’s calling “77 in 77,” where he will visit each of Chicago’s 77 communities in 77 days.
So far, he’s visited Chatham, Lakeview, Washington Park, North Center, West Loop, Auburn Gresham and Humboldt Park.
Summers’ political pedigree stretches back to his early years sitting at the heels of his grandfather, Sam Patch, a close political adviser to the late Mayor Harold Washington. More recently he served as chief of staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. To serve as treasurer, the Harvard MBA is giving up a big paycheck as senior vice president to Grosvenor Capital Management, helmed by Emanuel confidante Michael Sacks.