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Judge Rips Media, Protesters for Ignoring Shooting of 11-Year-Old in Court

By Erica Demarest | November 25, 2015 5:37pm | Updated on November 26, 2015 10:13am
 Cordero Harris, 27, was held without bail Wednesday.
Cordero Harris, 27, was held without bail Wednesday.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — The Auburn Gresham man who shot an 11-year-old girl in August was aiming for her adult cousin, prosecutors said Wednesday — but there were few outsiders in the courtroom to hear it.

"Why don't we have a packed courtroom for this?" Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas demanded to know as Cordero Harris, 27, stood before her Wednesday afternoon on charges of aggravated battery and aggravated assault.

Minutes earlier, activist Malcolm London — who'd been charged with battery to police following a Laquan McDonald protest Tuesday evening — appeared in the same court room.

When charges against London were dropped, the myriad activists, protesters and reporters who had flooded Chiampas' courtroom to see London, stood up and left. Chiampas had to pause proceedings to account for the exodus.

"Why don't we have every single press person in the room for this case? For an 11-year-old child?" Chiampas bellowed Wednesday afternoon. "Why aren't there people protesting outside for this case?"

Harris is accused of shooting an 11-year-old girl in her arm about 11 a.m. on Aug. 17 during a drive-by shooting in the 8700 block of South Sangamon Street.

It was a Monday. There was little to no news coverage at the time. Police officials did not send a news release about the man being charged.

The girl had been walking with her cousin, a 20-year-old man, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during Harris' bond hearing. Authorities believe the cousin was the intended target.

Harris fled to Iowa after the shooting, Scaduto said, and police issued a warrant. According to a police report, Harris was arrested Monday.

At the time of the shooting, Harris was on parole for escaping electronic monitoring, prosecutors said. He has two prior gun convictions.

Chiampas on Wednesday ordered Harris held without bail, noting that Harris "aimed for a 20-year-old and instead struck an 11-year-old child who was on the street talking to [her] cousin."

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