CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot is defending a controversial strategy aimed at curbing violence in Chicago during the Fourth of July weekend.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown wants to have police officers sweep street corners. The idea is to arrest young people who are being sent to those corners to facilitate drug deals for local gangs.
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Those corners are considered valuable territory — raking in $30,000 to $50,000 a day, according to Lightfoot — and the fight for territory often leads to gun violence, Brown said.
Brown is hoping to clean up the corners by arresting young people for gun possession and other drug crimes.
According to Chicago Sun-Times, Brown has been pleading with the Cook County State’s Attorney and Chief Judge, in order to be able to keep those arrested — often juveniles — behind bars over the holiday weekend to help keep the peace.
The American Civil Liberties Union says doing these types of sweeps presents civil rights issues, and will continue to drive a wedge between police, and black and brown communities.
The mayor responded Wednesday, in support of the superintendent’s plan.
“They’re putting the kids on the street to do their dirty work,” Lightfoot said. “Kids who have a future. Kids who have a life. So we’ve got to do something to stop that from happening. So that means going up the the food chain and getting the adults who are responsible for these heinous crimes and putting them behind bars.”
This moves comes after two back-to-back violent weekends in Chicago. In less than two weeks, 5 innocent children have been killed.
Brown also plans to flood the streets with 1200 additional officers this weekend.