CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two recent Cook County criminal cases – one involving a shootout, the other a deadly stabbing – ended with a similar result of no felony charges at all.
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov found Monday that prosecutors working under Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx initially gave one explanation, and then changed it under pressure.
Manny Porties was 18 and figuring out his future. His mom is now trying to grasp the fact that she'll never see his sweet smile again.
"I'm dealing with not only that he's gone, but somebody has to care that's he's gone," said Porties' mother, Nikia Naylor.
Porties, an Elgin resident, was stabbed to death on Sept. 27, in a confrontation with a 17-year-old in the 600 block of Sturnbridge Lane in Schaumburg. On video, it appears the 17-year-old is punching the unarmed Porties, but he is actually stabbing Porties with each jab – using a hidden knife.
But Naylor said she was stunned when Cook County prosecutors told her they were not filing murder charges because the 17-year-old was acting in self-defense – citing mutual combat.
Instead, the teen who killed her son was charged with unlawful use of a weapon – a misdemeanor.
"How's it fair, when my son didn't have anything and the boy had a knife – a weapon?" Naylor said.
Porties' aunt said those same prosecutors did not even consider the video, which they said shows the 17-year-old even following Porties to that mutual friend's house and posting it to social media.
"He had been bullying him. He had been taunting him. He had been stalking him prior to the fight," said Cara Rahmig.
This was the second case in just the past week in Cook County where prosecutors initially cited "mutual combat" as the reason they were not filing felony charges. It has raised serious questions about their decision.
The other incident was a shootout between rival gang members in the North Austin community on the city's West Side this past Friday. Prosecutors said no charges would be filed in that case because it was mutual combat – but later changed the reasoning to insufficient evidence.
Chicago Police said around 10:30 a.m. Friday, 25th (Grand Central) District tactical officers responded to a call of a man with a gun near Potomac and Mason avenues. When they arrived on the scene, they saw four people get out of two cars in front of a home in the 1200 block of North Mason Avenue, and start shooting at the house.
People inside the home returned fire, shooting one of the attackers, as other assailants fled the scene in the two vehicles.
The assailant who was shot was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Two people who were wounded inside the home also went to the hospital.
Five people were taken into custody in that incident, but all were released without charges. Mayor Lori Lightfoot denounced that decision on Monday, saying, "We can't live in a world where there's no accountability."
A spokesperson for Foxx's office now says there is insufficient evidence in Porties' case too. CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller sees it differently.
"When you have a situation – two kids getting into a fight – and they're supposed to use their fists, and one shows up to a knife, that's not fair," Miller said. "That's not mutual combat. That's first-degree murder."
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