The Cook County State’s Attorney Office (CCSAO), led by Kim Foxx, formally filed charges against a 20-year-old man for his alleged participation in a shootout in the Austin neighborhood on Oct. 1, 2021. For months, State’s Attorney Foxx refused to bring charges in the case, citing a lack of sufficient evidence. This led to a nationally publicized dispute and massive rift between Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Police Department (CPD) Supt. David Brown, who both stand firmly on “tough on crime” ideologies, and Foxx, who stands firmly on criminal justice reform. 

Back in October, the suspects initially arrested in connection with the shootout were released from custody as the Foxx’s SAO declined to charge them with multiple felonies, including first-degree murder.

At a 4:30 p.m. press conference on Feb. 10, Foxx said what has changed from October 2021 to now is that her office and CPD now have scientific and forensic evidence that wasn’t available at the time of the shooting.

“As of that first weekend, we did not have the forensic evidence that we have today,” Foxx said.

At the joint press conference she held with Lightfoot and Brown on the West Side, Foxx named the suspect in custody: Thomas Dean. He is being charged with three counts of felony unlawful use of a weapon. He is accused of using a machine. That’s a Class X felony, which carries a sentence of six to 30 years per count. If convicted, Dean could be sentenced up to 90 years in jail.

Foxx said the investigation into the case continues. The SAO and CPD anticipate more changes coming in the case soon. A bond hearing for Dean will take place today.

“As the West Side goes, there goes Chicago. So important that we’re here today in this moment to talk about this moment of reckoning. I think the simple message today is accountability,” Lightfoot said. “To the criminals who think they can shoot up neighborhoods… we will be relentless in holding you accountable. No matter how long it takes.”

Back in October 2021, during a one-on-one interview with the TRiiBE revolutionary columnist Bella BAHHS, Foxx said she had no probable cause to file murder charges in the shootout, considering the absence of eyewitnesses, fingerprints, and gunpowder residue that would have verified that the men in the grainy video were the men brought into custody.


“And, so, the notion that somehow there’s one person in one office that is responsible for literal decades of violence — that has been rooted in disinvestment — is a disingenuous argument,” Foxx told Bella BAHHS during the Oct. 2021 interview. “I don’t remember in 2016, in that horrifically violent year, that people thought that the then-state’s attorney, who was a more traditional prosecutor, was responsible for that. I don’t remember hearing that the state’s attorneys of the past, in those violent years of before, were somehow responsible.”

At the time, she said she dropped the charges to protect Black community members from the violent prosecutorial misconduct that has been normalized in Cook County and across the U.S.

“We have been so dysfunctional in this country for so long that when you say, ‘No, we don’t just arrest everybody,’ people are like, ‘Yes, we do,’” Foxx said during the 2021 interview.

In her righteous anger at what she called a “Wild Wild West” shootout on the streets of her city at the time, Lightfoot — a former prosecutor — demanded Foxx bring immediate charges against individuals. But Foxx, elected with a social justice mandate, refused on the grounds of insufficient evidence. She had no interest in taking a case to trial that did not have a high probability of ending in a conviction.

“What we don’t want is to rush a charge and not get that conviction,” Foxx said on Feb. 10. So she asked the CPD detectives for more.

After DNA results from the crime lab were returned, the CCSAO worked with CPD to build a detailed case around the forensic evidence. 

Dean’s blood has been found on one of the weapons linked to the incident. Video of the incident and the subsequent chase refers to a weapon found in a crashed Blue Dodge Charger. According to Brown, Dean was dropped off for injuries at a local hospital following the shooting.

At the press conference, Chicago’s big three — Lightfoot, Brown and Foxx — seemed to be on a united front. Lightfoot’s tone on Foxx had changed; so much so that, in a deep show of respect for Foxx, Lightfoot corrected a reporter who addressed the state’s attorney by her first name.


The Revolutionary Column | Is Kim Foxx a scape/GOAT?

In part one of our interview with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, columnist Bella BAHHS calls the steps that Foxx has taken to downsize the footprint of prosecution and reduce the county’s incarcerated population “commendable.”

While Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th Ward) looked on, the mayor painted a picture of resilience. 

“We are here on the great West Side of our city, a community that is rich, has great residents, and deserves the same thing that we want all over our city, which is peace,” Lightfoot said. 

She also added, “Let’s be clear, our common enemies, no matter where you reside, are guns, gangs and poverty. And we must continue to strike hard blows against all of them every single day.”

In some of her last words at the press conference, Foxx emphasized that she’s stayed true to her commitment to Black Chicagoans and criminal justice reform since day one.

“People live in neighborhoods that have been devastated by violence, and the last thing they want to hear about is their leaders fighting,” Foxx said. “I’m a little fired up today because I hope that as we move forward… that we focus on the people who are subjected to it”