CHICAGO — Joined by his mother and attorneys, Dakotah Earley addressed the media for the first time on Thursday, offering some insight into the months since his brutal attack.

“I’m feeling kind of fine right now. I’m mostly optimistic most of the time,” Early said in his first public comments since the May 6, 2022 armed robbery that caused him to lose a part of his leg and his jaw reconstructed.

“I’m definitely mad and sad about it, but I’m going to have to move on from it,” he added. “You become an amputee, and you think, ‘stuff was a lot easier,’ but I’m in good spirits most of the time.”

At a press conference at the Office of Disparti Law Group on Thursday, Earley’s lawyers explained the reasoning behind their now-filed civil rights lawsuit against the city of Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago police Supt. David Brown. 

Dakotah Earley

“The city of Chicago created the danger of this exact event happening to Mr. Earley,” said attorney Cass Casper. 

Earley’s attorneys argue Chicago police had information on the robbery crew allegedly involved days prior to the attack on the culinary student. Earley’s attorney says police even started tailing the man charged with shooting Earley, Tyshon Brownlee, an hour before the incident but terminated the pursuit, attorneys say, because of city policies. 

“If the police had continued their pursuit of Mr. Brownlee in a stolen BMW, it would have prevented the entire chain of events and the disaster that happened to Dakotah just an hour later,” Casper said. “All they had to do was to continue to tail Mr. Brownlee and make an effort to stop him but they didn’t.”

The city, CPD, and the mayor’s office do not comment on pending litigation.

SEE ALSO: Dakotah Earley loses part of leg in Lincoln Park shooting, mother says

“We believe those policies were passed without proper consideration of the effect on members of the public and victims of crimes, such as Dakotah,” Casper said. “They were not taken into account in the passage of those policies.”

Earley’s mother, Joy Dobbs, said her son is doing better but hopes that something positive can come from one of the worst days of his life.  

“We’re moving forward and it’s a process,” Dobbs said. “It’s definitely a club that neither of us signed up for, to be victims of violence.” 

Earley, 23, was shot near Webster and Wayne Avenue when a man stepped out from behind a building, pointed a gun at him and demanded his cell phone around 3 a.m. A struggle ensued and Earley was robbed and then shot in the back and head three times.

SEE ALSO: ‘Living miracle’: Lincoln Park robbery victim talking, baking brownies

Early survived the incident, which was captured on surveillance video. A GoFundMe account raised nearly $130,000 for medical expenses.

He will soon undergo his 14th surgery stemming from the shooting.