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With law enforcement killing innocent or unarmed Black people with alarming frequency, many of us can’t imagine willingly turning our relatives in to the police.

But that’s exactly what one Chicago-area woman did. According to NBC Chicago, after seeing surveillance photographs of her 15-year-old son on the news, she turned him in to the Maywood Police station.

The boy, who’s name has been released to the media despite his status as a minor, allegedly took $2,000 from his victim and used it to pay for his graduation fees, friends, junk food and Air Jordan track suits, last Monday, April 20.

But it wasn’t just robbery.

Prosecutors said the middle school student dragged his victim, a 41-year-old woman by her hair, punching her repeatedly before sitting on her head. When she was lying on the ground of the train, in the fetal position, he thrust himself against her and placed his hands inside of her pants, sexually assaulting her. He also groped her on the outside of her clothes and slapped her buttocks.

No one was on the train at the time, so he dragged her to another enclosed area where he pushed her face down and allegedly kept punching, kicking and stomping all over her body demanding cash.

He eventually took the money from her purse and picked up her iPhone from off the ground. He told the woman not to move until he left. When the doors closed and the train started to move again, she pulled the emergency button and was assisted by a Chicago Transit Authority employee.

The woman, who said she planned to wire the cash to relatives, suffered concussions and cuts all over her body. And days after the attack, was still vomiting as a result of her injuries.

Once his mother turned him in, the boy told authorities that he got onto another train traveling in the opposite direction. He threw the woman’s phone in a puddle.

He allegedly wrote a handwritten confession and gave Chicago police a recorded statement of his criminal actions. He told police where he threw the phone and it was recovered along with the jacket he wore on the day of the assault and the clothes he later purchased with the woman’s money.

Though the boy’s mother, whose name has not been reported, was the one to turn him in, she was still visibly upset when the State Attorney spoke to the media after the boy’s bond hearing.

According to the Chicago Tribune, she screamed, “Don’t talk that (expletive) about my child. Quit talking all of that (expletive) on the (expletive) news.” A sheriff’s deputy eventually asked her to leave.

As if this story weren’t tragic enough, the boy who had also been found delinquent as a juvenile back in November, was charged as an adult. Since the city decided to pursue adult charges, both his name and picture have been released in first the local, and now national media.

While this young man’s actions were particularly heinous and worthy of legal punishment, certainly time in jail or a juvenile detention center; I wonder if there is any opportunity for rehabilitation? In my mind, that’s always a possibility, but I wonder if law enforcement shares that sentiment when they look at this clearly disturbed child.

Frankly, I commend this boy’s mother for turning her child in to law enforcement. His victim suffered, and is likely still suffering tremendously because of his actions. And she likely saved some other people, particularly women, from undergoing a similar scenario. With the ability to protect her son completely stripped away from her, a lot of women would not have been so brave.

Still, I wonder if she could have made some type of arrangement or deal to ensure that in addition to whatever punishment he receives that he’s also required to undergo therapy and treatment.

This is devastating; still, with the right type of reformation, it doesn’t seem too late for a better ending than beginning.

Ladies, particularly the mothers out there, what would you do in this situation? Do you think this boy should have been charged as an adult, with his name and picture released to the media? Would you turn your son in to the police?

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