CHICAGO — Supt. David Brown said he had a “substantive” discussion about ending gun violence with President Joe Biden and other leaders Monday — but he provided few details on what was said.
Brown said he met for two hours with Biden; Attorney General Merrick Garland; Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C.; and Eric Adams, expected to be the next mayor of New York City, among others. The meeting comes as major cities throughout the United States, including Chicago, have seen a surge in gun violence during the pandemic, with no signs it will slow down.
“There was a shared vision … about the need to have a sense of urgency,” Brown said during a Tuesday morning news conference. “There was an agreement that there must be real consequences for serious crimes.
“We discussed both short-term and long-term solutions. Public safety and community building and reinvestment was discussed. There was consensus those two go hand in hand.”
The meeting will not be a “one-off,” Brown said, as the officials created a list of “actionable items” and were given someone to contact at the White House to follow up. He also noted he’d spoken one on one with Garland and the discussion had gone an hour over its scheduled times.
But Brown provided few details on what the officials have planned to stop gun violence or what help the White House has offered. He did say the White House offered to “increase the capacity” of “any and all resources” it can provide to deal with violent crime, including manpower.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has repeatedly called for comprehensive gun control at the federal level. Brown said officials did discuss the need to stop guns from coming into Chicago.
“There was an emphasis among the group of stopping the flow of illegal guns in our city,” Brown said. “It’s key to solving some of the violent crimes we’re seeing.”
Chicago residents and gun-violence prevention advocates have said community groups and neighborhoods need long-term investment — financially and through other resources — to drive down shootings and end the things that lead to crime, like poverty.
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