Chicago (CBS) — Winnetka police rolled up to Edward Burke, Jr.’s home on Friday, June 29 last year for a domestic battery call. Burke’s wife told dispatchers he was “extremely intoxicated, naked, acting violently and destroying furniture.” Dispatchers were told he had two loaded firearms on the first floor.
The police report says Burke’s wife injured her arm falling after he pushed her and said she feared for her safety.
Under the terms of his bond, Burke was ordered to turn over the two pistols and his FOID card and ordered not to have contact with the victim.
Then Winnetka Police made the decision to file a report stating that Burke posed a “clear and present danger” and asked for the state to revoke his FOID card. A detective signed off on the form, but before that form was processed by state police, the case was dismissed and Burke’s 9 mm pistols were returned.
The only thing court records show is that prosecutors decided to drop the charges.
Domestic violence victim advocate and lawyer Denice Wolf Markham explained that it was likely the victim’s request. But, she also explained that in the state of Illinois, prosecutors may pursue charges anyway, especially in cases of domestic violence.
Wolf Markham said the quick dismissal of this case raises questions.
“This kind of handling of these cases flies in the face of what we intend our laws to do, which is to protect people who are endangered,” she said.
Given the details in the police reports and Burke’s access to loaded firearms, Wolf Markham says she would have advocated for further hearings even if the victim decided not to press it.
“It’s a system-wide problem, I think,” Wolf Markham said. “The state’s attorney’s office, I think, contributed to the mishandling of this. They could have done more.”
A spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said they have no comment on the case.
The request from Winnetka police to revoke Burke Jr.’s FOID card was denied. The Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau said the case didn’t meet the threshold to revoke.
Their administrative code says the threat must be “articulable and significant.”
So, even though Winnetka police, who responded to the scene, thought Burke was dangerous, Illinois State Police did not.
A BMW SUV drove into the garage at Burke Jr.’s home Thursday night, but no one answered the door.
The trooper assigned to review the request from Winnetka police to revoke Burke Jr.’s FOID card said he couldn’t comment and neither could a public information officer.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the administration of Cook County Board President and Chicago mayoral candidate, Toni Preckwinkle, hired Burke Jr. for a job while he was under investigation for misconduct by the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.