CHICAGO — Supt. David Brown is calling for harsher penalties for people convicted of felonies after a bloody weekend saw more than 100 people shot in Chicago.
Father’s Day weekend saw 11 people murdered, including four children, Brown said. One of them was a 3-year-old boy, another victim was a 13-year-old girl and the other two were teenage boys who had gone out to buy candy.
“Children in Chicago should not have to worry about walking just blocks from home to buy candy, candy, and never returning,” Brown said.
Brown said the issue is not police, who he said are “working hard,” but violent offenders who are not jailed or are put on electronic monitoring — “which no one is really monitoring.”
“We need violent felons to stay in jail longer, and we need improvements to the home monitoring system,” Brown said. “We also must collaborate with our criminal justice partners to create a safer Chicago.”
Besides the lack of jail time for violent offenders, the violence is being fueled by gangs, guns and drugs, Brown said.
Police officers took in 77 guns over the weekend and arrested 43 people for gun crimes, Brown said. This year, officers have taken in 4,468 guns so far.
Police have also stopped drivers 163,419 times and arrested 28,145 people this year, Brown said.
The Police Department’s “endgame strategy is to arrest violent felons,” Brown said, but too often they’re “getting right out of jail.”
“We’re constantly adjusting, readjusting, redeploying our resources based on realtime crime data. But at the end of the day, our endgame is arresting violent felons,” Brown said. “And if violent felons don’t spend enough time in jail, we need more cooperation and collaboration for other parts of the criminal justice system. And we expect we will collaborate.”
At the same time, the superintendent said he wouldn’t “finger point” and say who was responsible for violent offenders being out on the streets, saying he’d rather collaborate with the city’s criminal justice agencies.
Brown has previously said his goal is for Chicago to have fewer than 300 murders per year — which looks increasingly unlikely for 2020, as more than 250 people have already been slain.
Still, Brown said Chicago can “achieve above and beyond where we currently stand.”
“There’s no easy button to cutting murders down to 300 or below,” Brown said. “What I will say, if New York can do it, if LA can do it, there’s no reason why Chicago can’t do it. And we have to believe we can do it.”
Despite the weekend violence, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she is sticking by Brown and thinks he will end up being one of the city’s best superintendents by the end of his term.
“Supt. Brown has been here for eight weeks. He’s a tremendous leader. He has walked into a very difficult circumstance …,” Lightfoot said during a separate Monday press conference. “think David Brown is a great leader. I think he’s dug in. He really understands the department well. And I think he’s gonna end up being one of the best superintendents in the history of the department.”
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