These four men have been arrested in a bizarre series of attacks on people where they drove up in a white stretch limousine and jumped out to assault pedestrians. Relatives insist that they were just shooting a video for a song called “Take a Sip” and got made when people spontaneously shouted racial epithets. The attacks occurred near my childhood home in Chicago in the Wrigleyville area.
Corry Simmons, 32, Donald Robinson, 31, and his cousin Edward Robinson, 31, are facing a variety of charges including felony mob action and aggravated battery. Alvin Goffin, 32, is facing primarily mob action charges.
The attacks were videotaped — undermining the claim of racial insults. Even if such insults occurred (which is not supported by witnesses), it is not a defense to a physical assault. Three men were injured and one was treated for a broken jaw. A police officer was also injured in taking one of the men into custody. That man, Simmons is now also facing a charge of resisting a police officer.
Before setting out on the videotaped outing, Edward Robinson promised something exciting on his Facebook and tweeted followers that “[t]his one gone be epic.”
Notably, five other men were in the limo and fled the scene. It would seem that those people should also be charged if found.
The increase in violence in Chicago — including a 38 percent increase in murders — has shaken the city. I speak daily with my mother who lives in the city with the rest of my family. She cannot recall anything like this since the mob battles of the 1930s and 1940s.
Frankly, the effort to excuse the conduct by family members in this case by claiming racial insults is troubling. There were multiple attacks that were videotaped. At some point, there is a need for recognition of personal responsibility by a family member for such conduct. All four men have criminal records and one of the victims was an off-duty police officer.