Cops believe Reggie Allen mowed down an unarmed black man outside an east-side club more than a year ago. So why isn't he behind bars?

"You don't know the tears that have been shed at this table," the man says. "Everyone at this house cried over it. Someone died. He was a young man. [But] what we say is the truth."

Asked about Reggie Allen's violent criminal record, the man says: "We're not denying his history, but it has no bearing on what occurred."

Several friends of the Allens — both black and white — take umbrage that the family has been likened to "Nazis." One young black man, who lives in Washington Park and wishes to remain anonymous, called the RFT to defend the Allens.

Tim Lane
Tim Lane

He says that Woody Allen once donated a trash truck to that predominantly black municipality. As for Gail Allen's strip club, Miss Kitty's, it was among the area businesses that has bought turkeys for families on Thanksgiving and funded back-to-school picnics.

The young African American man also went to high school with Reggie Allen.

"Reggie's not gonna let you push him over," he says. "But he's still a good friend to me, regardless of whatever they say he did."

Leaning forward at a conference table in Justin Meehan's office on a recent Sunday afternoon, 24-year-old Aubrey Rice skims the autopsy report and explains his brother's many tattoos.

For example, doctors examining Anthony's body after his death noticed crosses with prayer beads on both upper arms, and the face of Jesus on his left arm.

"My brother is a Baptist," Aubrey says. He still refers to Anthony in the present tense.

Aubrey is asked about the tattoo of a baby with a halo, and the name "Jahmad."

"That's my auntie's son, who died at the age of two," Aubrey says.

And the words "Fighting 4 My Brother"?

"All the men we come into contact with, we don't call 'best friends,' we don't call them 'homeboys.' That's our 'brother.'"

And the happy and sad faces? "Laugh now, cry later." He glances away.

Meehan later points out that this interview is the first time Aubrey has spoken — to anyone — about the City Nights incident in more than a year.

"I keep it inside," Aubrey says, quietly, eyes lowered to the table. "And it's eating me up on the inside. I can't even look at my momma and tell my momma the truth. My momma still don't know to this day what happened."

He says he's been haunted by second guesses: What if he'd done something differently? Watching the surveillance tape, at least, settled much of those doubts.

"Before this tape was seen, there were a lot of open doors," he says. "Since I saw that tape, it'll close a lot of doors. And it's given me a good idea of how to move on with it."

He's enrolled at Southwestern Illinois College for the spring semester. Maybe, he says, he'll become a lawyer.

"Even if they convict Reggie tomorrow, and I die the next day, I'd be happy. Because then my job is done. My job is to bring justice to my brother and my momma. Our granddaddy and daddy used to say, 'We only got two things, our name and our word.'

"I'm gonna live up to mine."

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