Lawyer for father of slain 7-year-old downplays alleged gang ties

An attorney for the father of the 7-year-old boy who was fatally shot over the violent Fourth of July weekend downplayed the West Side man’s alleged gang affiliation, firing back that police “make assumptions” on gang membership.

“Pretty much every arrest record in the city of Chicago says someone is a gang member,” attorney Donna Rotunno told reporters Wednesday after Antonio Brown appeared at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on a gun-related charge stemming from an April incident.

Brown, whose son Amari, was fatally shot outside his father’s Humboldt Park home shortly before midnight Saturday, declined comment, but Rotunno said her client is “devastated” by the shooting.

The day after the killing, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy laid the blame for Amari’s killing on his father’s alleged gang involvement, saying Brown was a ranking gang member with a long list of arrests and the apparent target of the late-night shooting. McCarthy blasted that Brown was released on bail following his April arrest on the gun charge, saying, “If Mr. Brown is in custody, his son is alive.”

Rotunno took issue with McCarthy’s comments.

“He lives in a dangerous area of Chicago,” she said of Brown. “When people shoot at each other, there will be casualties. Until the community decides to put down the guns, there will be causalities.”

Brown has a record of 45 arrests on charges including drug possession, burglary, trespassing and gun possession. He had most recently been arrested with a gun after leading police on a vehicle pursuit in April, McCarthy said. He was arraigned on nine felony charges, including being an armed habitual offender, and was released previously on $50,000 bail, court records show.

Earlier, Brown sat stone-faced with his arms folded in the gallery of Judge Erica Reddick’s courtroom with a number of family and friends, including Amari’s mother. The 29-year-old wore a gray and white hoodie with jeans and white sneakers.

When his case was called, Brown approached the bench.

“Sorry, for your loss,” the judge told him.

The case was continued until Aug. 10.

As Brown left the courtroom with his arm around a woman and surrounded by several others, one man waiting in the hallway for his own court case told him, “Hold your head (up), man.”

Source: MSN News

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