Aldermen pick sides in Chicago gun violence feud between Lightfoot and Preckwinkle

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CHICAGO — Aldermen picked sides in the feud between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle over who’s to blame for Chicago’s gun violence.

Nick Sposato (38th Ward), Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward) and Derrick Curtis (18th Ward) released a statement hammering Toni Preckwinkle for going after Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

“I’m a big fan of Eddie Johnson,” Sposato said. “I just think the world of him. I think he’s doing the best job possible.”

“I believe he has a passion for what he does, experience is everything,” Curtis said.

In a letter addressed to Mayor Lightfoot, Preckwinkle started this conversation criticizing Superintendent Johnson for saying Cook County’s reformed bail system is contributing to gun violence.

“It’s not as he suggested the result of judges allowing people who need to be in jail to be out on streets,” Preckwinkle said. “As a matter of fact, those who are charged with felony gun related charges, who are out on bond, 99 percent of them don’t commit another offense as they await their hearings and their trials.”

Preckwinkle said the real issue is Chicago Police Department’s rate of solving homicides.

“The national average is low 60s, closure rates that is arresting somebody for the crime,” Preckwinkle said. “In the city of Chicago, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab, it’s 26% closure rate for murders and 5% for shootings, which means you have three chances out of four of getting away with murder and nine chances out of ten of getting away with shooting someone.”

Aldermen Sposato and Curtis said Preckwinkle is wrong. The problem is criminals are not afraid.

“It’s that code of silence and the fact that the State’s Attorney is playing catch and release,” Sposato said.

“They’re not afraid to go to jail,” Curtis said. “If people knew the consequences before they decided to go out there and do something wrong, they wouldn’t go out there and do it.”

Sposato said Preckwinkle is raising all of this to protect her protégée, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Mayor Lightfoot responded to Preckwinkle Thursday saying everyone needs to work together.

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