CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s the court-date the family of a murdered U.S. Marine was looking forward to.
The family of Mamadou Balde was ready to look into the eyes of the teens accused of pushing him – into the path of an oncoming Red Line train.
But as CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Friday night, the coronavirus pandemic changed the plan – adding to the anger over losing their loved one.
Four weeks after the former Marine was pushed onto the tracks, two teens have been arrested. But Balde’s family believes they are waiting even longer for justice.
And at a time when people are spending more time with family sheltering at home, the Balde family still grieves Mamadou Balde’s loss.
“He was kind of like that joy you wanted to be around,” said Mamadou’s father, Al Balde.
The former Marine served faithful.
“This man served his country for four years,” Al Balde said. “This man went twice to Afghanistan he came back safe.”
But while at the Jackson Chicago Transit Authority Red Line stop, the 29-year-old’s life ended tragically in April.
“I don’t know,” Al Balde said. “I just don’t know what happened and what went wrong between him and those guys, because I haven’t seen the video.”
CTA security cameras captured Balde getting into an altercation with three teens.
Ryan Munn, 18, and Fajour Hodges, 19, were arrested and charged with murder. Prosecutors said they pushed Balde onto the tracks and in the path of the train.
“Because there was no reason for these guys to kill my son,” Al Balde said. “This was not an accident.”
The family knows justice takes time.
“We have the next court date on the 12th, I believe,” Al Balde said.
But Mamadou’s father and brother can’t go to court, hear the evidence, or see the men accused – all due to the pandemic.
“I want to get in that courtroom and I want to watch the video,” Al Balde said.
What started the fight isn’t clear. Mamadou Balde’s brother, who is the same age as those accused of the murder, believes self-control could have prevented his pain.
“Acts made out of emotion aren’t typically thought out very well, as you can see from my brother’s murder,” said Nouhou Balde. “That’s what I want people to take away most.”
The family knows justice takes time, but during the pandemic, they feel it is moving even slower.
While is not clear what started the fight, Al Balde is pleased that the CPD made arrests so fast. He also asked for sympathy for the accused teens’ family members.