Aldermen hammered Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown Friday during a six-hour special City Council meeting that sought to question the city’s public safety plan ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
The Fourth of July holiday is typically one of the weekends in Chicago that sees the most gun violence. More than 70 people were shot last weekend, including two mass shootings that left two people dead and 15 others wounded in a matter of hours.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot previously said Friday’s meeting wasn’t necessary, but some aldermen inquired about the city’s process for creating a holiday weekend violence strategy.
“I don’t like the fact that we did not actively sit down and make a citywide plan,” said Ald. Jeannette Taylor of the city’s 20th Ward.
Speaking before the City Council, Brown said the Chicago Police Department is doing its job, pointing to reduced murder numbers compared to last June.
However, some aldermen said those numbers were cherry-picked.
Explaining he was going off of information on the CPD’s website, 15th Ward Ald. Ray Lopez said most recent published data showed both murders and criminal sexual assaults are up.
At one point, Brown suggested that being called before the Council was preventing him and his leadership team from making necessary adjustments to the Fourth of July safety plan.
However, some aldermen weren’t pleased with his comments.
“When you stood up and said retaliatory violence could happen because we brought you here, how dare you try to use that on us,” Lopez said.
Aldermen also challenged the superintendent for blaming the courts for increased violence when they say the department itself must change in order to combat violence before it begins.
“Your department, its structure, its approach, will never be able to be equipped to deal with the violent crime in our communities,” said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa of the 35th Ward.