CHICAGO (CBS) – Following the deaths of two Chicago Police officers, one man is now facing charges, but they are not murder charges.
Edward Brown, 24, is facing felony charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon, both less severe than a murder count.
Police said Brown was pursued by Officers Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary after ShotSpotter detected gunshots in the area. A chase ended on the tracks with officers aware of one train but not another coming behind them. That train ended up killing them both.
Brown had no prior criminal record.
“Me and him grew up together,” Domonique Walker said. “He was known to get out of trouble. He was normally the person who would come down there and stop fights.”
“If this gentleman had 20 prior felony convictions, this still would not be a felony murder charge,” CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller said.
Miller said despite being linked to two officer deaths, the uncommon charge of felony murder – when an offender kills in the process of a dangerous crime, even unintentionally – isn’t appropriate here.
He says the way the law is written, the gun charges Brown faces don’t rise to the level of a violent crime like armed robbery, an act that could be considered for felony murder.
“If he had charged murder in this case, it would be, in my opinion, no chance of a conviction,” Miller said.
Miller says the maximum he believes Brown could get is three years.
“Family hopefully will get some type of closure by the fact that someone is charged,” Miller said.
CBS 2 reached out to Brown’s family for comment on the charges. They said they’re still processing the events and had no further comment.
Brown is expected in bond court Thursday.