The superintendent of the Chicago Police Department claimed the city’s court system was to blame for the recent crime wave plaguing Chicago during a press conference Monday.
During his remarks, Superintendent David Brown slammed progressive policies, championed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, that have allowed courts to release criminal defendants without cash bail, according to The Washington Examiner.
Chicago’s police superintendent blamed the state court system (again) for weekend shootings in the city, saying judges release too many people charged with violent crimes. But has that actually contributed significantly to trends in crime? My report for @TheLeadCNN & @JakeTapper: pic.twitter.com/vZSJ6BBxo9
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) July 27, 2021
“We are arresting violent offenders, the courts are releasing these people back into the community… Sit in bond court and see the people being charged with unlawful use of a gun by a felon … being released back into these communities the same day they are arrested,” Brown said.
Cash bail was never about public safety.
For far too many people, their assessment was based not on their risk but on the amount that they could afford to pay, so eliminating cash bail makes this about risk and not about poverty.https://t.co/pNzjxUyNQt
— State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (@SAKimFoxx) January 20, 2021
“Ask the courts: Why are you releasing violent people — dangerous people that Chicago police officers arrest and charge — back into these communities to create this environment of lawlessness that we’re seeing here?” added Brown, according to CNN.
Last weekend, 70 people were shot and 12 were killed throughout the city of Chicago. That string of shootings was preceded by a similar string of shootings last Wednesday, in which a 16-year-old boy was shot in the head and a 14-year-old boy was killed within a 10-minute period. During the previous weekend of July 17, 56 people were shot and 11 were killed. (RELATED: Amid Crime Spike, Detroit Residents Reject Radical Police Reform And Want More Cops On The Street: Poll)
Many law enforcement leaders, including Brown, have attempted to link the practice of attaching electronic monitors to defendants charged with violent felonies rather than holding them on bail with the rise in crime. Over 3,400 defendants, including 100 murder suspects, are currently out on the streets of Chicago on the condition of wearing electronic monitors, according to NBC.
“What we can do different is challenge the courts to render Chicago safe by holding violent offenders in jail longer, not releasing murderers back into our communities. That’s what we can do different,” said Brown.
In April, a seven-year-old girl was shot outside a McDonald’s in Chicago by an individual released by the courts on an electronic monitor. Earlier this month, rapper Londre Sylveste and a 60-year-old woman were shot outside an Illinois correctional facility as Sylveste was being released on an electronic monitor. A nearby 36-year-old woman was wounded by one of the bullets.
Homicides in Chicago are up 11% from 2020 and 63% from 2019, prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNN. Similarly, other major cities that have adopted similar progressive policies such as defunding the police have also experienced massive spikes in violent crime.