Chicago Police arrested a concealed carry holder last week after a group attacked him at a pro-Palestine rally north of Chicago.
There was a rally in Skokie, Illinois, where about 200 protesters showed up to support the Palestinians in the Middle East. There were multiple disturbances, and the police were there in an attempt to keep things under control.
During the rally, a woman holding a Palestinian flag approached a car driving by with an Israeli flag on the side. After he tried to stop a woman from taking the flag off the side of his car, a group of people confronted him in the Lincolnwood Town Center mall.
It was close to a pro-Israel event. When the group got the concealed carry holder on the ground, he pulled a firearm and shot once into the air. No one got hurt, and the police immediately took the man into custody.
Tensions swelled at two competing rallies that had both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters on different sides in Skokie, just outside of #Chicago.
— 16th & 17th District Chicago Police Scanner (@CPD1617Scanner) October 23, 2023
In the press release from the Lincolnwood Police Department, they said, “After reviewing the case, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the subject. The 39-year-old male subject resides in Chicago and is a valid Concealed Carry License (CCL) holder.”
This could have gone a few different ways for the concealed carry holder. Although he ended up on the ground while people attacked him, many states say you cannot use deadly force to protect yourself if you were the “initial” aggressor. If you start it, you can’t use deadly force for self-defense.
A friend of mine who is also an Illinois CCL instructor named Thomas Kral from Alpha Koncepts commented, “Illinois law does allow the use of force for self-defense by the initial aggressor if the initial aggressor meets certain standards, which include withdrawing from the conflict.
I’m not suggesting that what he did was the right thing to do. I am a strong advocate of avoidance because one wins the fight that they avoid 100% of the time.
I’m simply saying that legally speaking, an aggressor can reestablish their “innocence,” aka affirmative defense. I am not suggesting that this aggressor did that. This guy was lucky, and he didn’t get harmed or charged with a crime. However, he may still be sued.”
This falls under Illinois Section 720 ILCS 5/7-4 – Use of force by aggressor
The justification described in the preceding sections of this article is not available to a person who:
(a) is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(b) initially provokes the use of force against himself, with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; or
(c) otherwise initially provokes the use of force against himself, unless:
(1) such force is so great that he reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and that he has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(2) in good faith, he withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
This prosecutor considered his actions self-defense, but a different prosecutor may have decided he was the initial aggressor since he got out of his car and chased the lady.
This was already a tense environment, and I cannot stress enough the importance of thinking ahead about the possible outcomes of what you do.