Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Guilty On 22 Counts
"Today six police officers and three court advocates went to 26th and Cal for the sentencing of Jansen Aikens. He is a 17 year old Black P Stone gang member from Rogers Park, who shot at 2 police officers a year ago in their patrol car. It happened on Sunnyside by Target late at night. He is from Rogers Park and was walking with two other gangbangers. The police stopped to talk to one of them, not Jansen. They ran in different directions. The police pursued Jansen. He turned and shot at them in their car. [UU Note: See posts about it here and here.] They eventually returned fire. Believe it or not, no one was hit. Adrenalin, wow!
He was charged with 22 counts, including two counts of intent to kill a police officer, two counts of aggravated discharge of a weapon, and other possession of a handgun charges. There was a bench trial ***no jury, before the judge only*** in September. Judge James Linn found Jansen guilty of all 22 counts.
There was a post-trial hearing on October 21. People close to Jansen testified how good a person he was. A lawyer, his Little League coach, mentored Jansen for years. He said Jansen was a good kid and became his assistant coach. He stressed that Jansen was very protective of his younger brother and that they all stayed in touch after Little League was over. He wasn't as happy when the ASA asked him if he knew that Jansen was smoking 4 or 5 blunts a day and drinking heavily. He grudgingly admitted that he was aware of that. Police officers also testified about the night Jansen opened fire on them.
Today was the day when Judge Linn announced his sentencing. Before sentencing, one of the police officers testified how it felt to be "trapped in the car" while bullets from Jansen's gun punctured the windows and body of the car. He said that he joined the police to protect and serve, but not to die. He said that this 17 year old tried to deprive his and his fellow officer's families of a husband and father. It was very moving. Later Judge Linn said that both of the officers were very persuasive in their testimony.
Judge Linn took a lot of time to make his decision. I believe he sentenced too lightly. He reviewed Jansen's life, that he was born to an addict mother. He and his brother were placed in DCFS until a wonderful woman fostered them both. He said Jansen had made a series of bad decisions, but had no history of violence until that night.* He said it was a horrible night that could have made widows and orphans of two families and Jansen could have been killed when the officers returned fire. He said it was "miraculous" that there was no loss of life.
He sentenced Jansen to 20 years for attempted murder, 20 years for aggravated discharge of a weapon and 3 years for other gun charges. I agreed with these sentences until he said they would be served concurrently instead of consecutively, so 20 years in all. He said he was aware he was sentencing a young man to a sentence longer than than the time he'd been on earth. I think he should have made the sentences consecutive for what might have happened. But I'm not a judge. Judge Linn has always been fair, but I disagree with him on this. My opinion only. Jansen must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. There will be an appeal."
* Someone familiar with Jansen and his brother Jacob told UU last year that Jansen had been kicked out of Chicago Math & Science Academy for bringing a weapon (a knife) to school. So much for no history of violence.
The same source also told us that both brothers are Black P Stones, affiliated with different factions. Jansen was with the Uptown P Stones the night of the shooting, with whom his faction had allied. The alliance happened because of an ongoing gang war that encompasses Uptown, Edgewater and Rogers Park. Jansen took it up a notch when he tried to murder two cops.
Both brothers' Facebook pages are testaments to their gang affiliations. In fact, Jansen's younger brother made a chilling post the day of Jansen's convictions, a rambling declaration that he was going to get vengeance, with the tag "#CPDK" (Chicago Police Department Killer). Nice. He just turned 17 this month, so he's now legally an adult. We hope the cops keep a close eye on this kid and his threats.
Jansen had a mentor, a good foster home, and was smart enough to enroll in a math & science academy. He gave that all up for his gang and now he's spending 17-20 years in prison. It looks like his younger brother is following him down that same path. It's a damn shame.