by J. J. Quincannon, The Chicago Times
July 6, 2021
CHICAGO — Following the most violent Fourth of July weekend in four years, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown blamed the Cook County court system once again, claiming that it releases too many violent criminals.
“Chicago police officers are doing their job by arresting people and charging them with murder,” Brown said Tuesday, a day after more than 100 people were shot, 19 of whom died.
“That’s doing our part and what’s happening in the courts, it’s creating this unsafe environment for all of us.” Brown said.
As this year’s violence continues to outpace last year’s, which was the city’s most violent since the mid-1990s, Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have made this argument repeatedly.
Brown cited over 90 people who were charged with murder but later released into their communities under electronic surveillance.
“If the cops’ productivity was down and not unprecedentedly high, I would be arguing we need to do more as police officers, that’s not the case here,” he said, noting officers recovered 244 illegal guns over the holiday weekend, resulting in 86 arrests.
Brown would not say if any arrests had been made in any of the weekend shootings, which included attacks that injured at least 13 children aged 15 and under.
This year’s Fourth of July weekend was the most violent since 2017, when at least 101 people were shot, 14 of them fatally. However, because the holiday fell on a Tuesday, the tally covered four days instead of three this year.
According to CPD sources many of the shootings occurred in the Calumet and South Chicago police districts on the South Side, in neighborhoods that have seen more violence this year than last.
Brown pointed out that, both last year and this year, violent crime in other major cities has increased dramatically more than it has in Chicago.
“No one would do the job that Chicago police officers do right now. No one would wade into large crowds and risk being shot. No one would go down these dark allies that officers go down.” Brown said.
While dispersing a crowd on the West Side early Sunday a CPD commander and sergeant were wounded. One was grazed in the thigh, while the other was hit in the foot.
Brown claimed he was not shifting blame onto the courts, but rather trying to elicit more discussion.