Chicago police and prosecutors are unhappy that a major gang leader has been released on a low bail, reports the Chicago Tribune. Kenyatta White, the reputed second-ranking leader of the Black P Stones gang, was charged with murder early in 2003. He was released on bail, but he was back in court in December on new charges that he fired 15 shots into the brother of his alleged murder victim in an ongoing drug feud.
Cook County Circuit Judge Leo Holt set bail at $100,000. Although White had been held without bail since his arrest, he now had to post just $10,000, or 10 percent, to be freed. Holt had previously denied prosecutors’ requests to examine whether the convicted narcotics dealer used drug proceeds when he has posted bail. Holt said he is “comfortable” with his decision. The judge noted that the evidence is disputed in both cases against White.
“It’s very frustrating, and it makes not only our jobs harder but the county’s (prosecutors) too,” Police Supt. Philip Cline said. The case is an example of difficulties police say they face at a time when the drug trade and gang warfare have given Chicago the nation’s highest murder total.
In a city where suspects and victims are often connected to the same underworld, police say it is difficult enough to hold investigations together. And in this case, they feel undercut by the judge’s decision to slash bail.