Posted by: DawnMarie White (DMWatLaw) | September 27, 2011

Illinois v. Kenneth Green

Last month, I had the opportunity to co-counsel a week-long jury trial in Chicago with Marcus Schantz. The State charged Kenny Green with 48 counts. They dismissed 40 counts before trial began leaving two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery of peace officers, and four counts of armed violence. Armed violence is an Illinois crime which makes possessing a firearm while committing certain felonies a crime of its own.

Kenny did not know who was breaking into his home when the Chicago Police Department were executing a search warrant. He saw two legs wearing jeans and boots busting through his bedroom door. He heard his family screaming. He heard loud noises. He didn’t hear yells of “Chicago Police Department” or “Search Warrant”.

While fearing for his life and those of his family, Kenny got his gun and shot at the legs. Kenny shot two to four times. Two police officers suffered through and through injuries to their legs. Two of the police officers all but unloaded their guns. One of the officers was using a military type assault rifle. Both officers were firing into a room where they could not see. After the shooting stopped, Kenny heard two words that would forever change his life: Officer down.

Kenny realized that it was the police in his home. He immediately put down his gun and told the officers that he was alone in the room. He then complied with the police officer’s commands and was arrested.

At trial, Kenny was ultimately found not guilty on all eight counts.

Kenny’s account of the events rang true with the jurors. What he said made sense. His version was more believable and was backed up by the evidence. A few police officers testified that Kenny shot bullets through what was remaining of the bedroom door at chest level. However, there were no marks or any evidence to show that bullets hit the wall directly across the small room from the door. In fact, the only bullets found that were attributed to Kenny were in a box spring mattress (read: low to the ground) and on the floor under the box spring mattress. Kenny only shot two to four times while the police shot at least 37 times (37 times!) into a room where they could not see. Granted they were afraid for their lives, but 37 times in response to two to four shots when you can’t see anything is overkill. My and Marcus’ job was to help the jurors into Kenny’s shoes. Marcus’ closing argument sealed the deal.

To read more about the trial, you can read Marcus Schantz’s blog post on the case.

An interesting news article was published just before our trial about police involved shootings in the Sun Times. Here’s a local ABC news report of the trial.

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Responses

  1. Very impressive blog!!!!


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