CHICAGO – Chicago’s police superintendent addressed criticisms on Tuesday following a deadly Fourth of July weekend.
Chicago police Supt. David Brown defended the work of his officers, touting the efforts of his department in the fight against crime amid another violent weekend.
“They risked, literally risked, life and limb,” he said.
Brown, once again, called out Cook County’s judicial system and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. The release of violent offenders back onto the streets of Chicago, he says, shares some blame for the surge in gun violence.
According to Chicago police, Fourth July weekend violence saw:
- Shootings: 69
- Shooting victims: 100
- Murders: 18
- Juvenile shooting victims: 11
- Guns arrests: 86
- Guns recovered: 244
The superintendent assured alderpersons before the holiday weekend, which has traditionally been extremely violent, that a strategy was in place to combat crime.
“Strategy-wise, we did our part,” Brown said. “The outcome of a safer weekend is the criminal justice system which includes the courts. If the courts are continuing to release violent people we arrest the outcomes of our less effective than they could be if they hold on offenders, and people found in possession of illegal guns. If they held those people with consequences, real consequences to change behavior, were only one part of this formula of safety.”
But Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans points out that 94% of murder defendants released pretrial were not charged with any new crime, and about 99% were not charged with a new violent offense.
In a statement, he writes: “Speculation based on isolated cases is not the same as reality based on a complete picture, and research has shown that bail reform has not led to an increase in crime.”
“There’s a dispute amongst the research community,” Brown added. “Whether or not those facts, that same study is true.”
Brown insists that by releasing violent offenders back into the community, it sets the stage for retaliation which lends itself to innocent bystanders being shot or killed. Brown pointed to this weekend, saying of the 80 people arrested for violent crimes, two were on electronic monitoring.
“And the court, of course, released them back into the community, creating an unsafe environment for all of us in the crowd when retaliation occurs when street justice occurs,” he said. “So when you ask the question whether or not our work is effective, Chicago police officers are doing their job rescuing people in charging them with murder. That’s doing our part. And what’s happening in the court is creating this unsafe environment for all of us.”
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