I’ve read the internet comments about the mother who turned in her 15-year-old son to the Chicago police. Most of the comments on the internet were negative. They didn’t give the mother credit for doing the right thing. The mother recognized her son, DeShawn Isabelle, from CTA surveillance photos released publicly by the CTA after he assaulted a woman in an empty L car on the CTA blue line. Although the woman went through a severe experience, which was painful, she was strong enough to do endure it. I was impressed by the mother’s behavior in such a horrific situation. 

I am on the side with the positive views. I believe the mother should be praised for her having the courage to turn in her son; for her willingness in seeking help not just punishment; and for her support in knowing her son actions were wrong, yet not throwing him under the bus. 

She was courageous. She had the attitude of dealing with a painful situation instead of ignoring it. According to the Chicago Tribune, Isabelle before taking him to the authorities.  Her actions were the actions of a responsible parent. It took a lot of soul-searching to turn her son in.

Just as interesting was the fact she recognized her son needed help — not just punishment. Officials said DeShawn Isabelle dragged the 41-year-old woman by her long hair, punched her repeatedly and sat on her head during the April 20 attack. He took $2,000 from the victim and used it to pay for his graduation fees, junk food and Air Jordan track suits. Was this the normal thinking and actions of a 15-year-old? It was more the thinking of a trouble-minded person. The mother knew her son needed more help than she could provide. Once in jail, doctors could evaluate her son and find out his problems. This treatment process would have been impossible to have facilitated on the outside. We should treat mental disorders and not incarcerate and shoot sick people. 

Throughout this ordeal, the mother supported her son. Following the bond hearing at the Leighton criminal court building, Isabelle’s mother declined to talk to TV reporters. But, later in the lobby of the building, when Assistant State’s Attorney Joe DiBella read the prosecution’s version of the case in front of TV news cameras, she lost control. “Quit talking all of that (expletive) on the (expletive) news,” she shouted angrily. She was asked to leave the building after she made the outburst. From the mother’s outburst, I concluded that she wanted her son to be treated fairly under the judicial system and given a fair chance for recovery. She wanted the facts of this case, and the way they were deliberated upon by those involved with prosecuting her son, to be unbiased. She wanted her son to be charged as a juvenile and checked for mental problems before accusations and judgments were placed on him. And maybe these things could be done with the aid of a lawyer or public defender.  

All in all, the mother should be admired for her behavior. She probably saved her son’s life. He may have continued to get himself into trouble or may have been shot to death by a policeman. But that didn’t happen. Now there is a chance for a 15 year-old boy who showed an interest in his education to get help to straighten out his life. Remember he paid his graduation fees with the stolen money.

CONTACT: s-alice-j@sbcglobal.net

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