Weis Negotiating With Urban Terrorists, says Alderman

Weis said he's looking for "group responsibility"

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
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Chicago aldermen are accusing Police Superintendent Jody Weis of waving a white flag in a secret meeting with gang leaders.

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said he couldn't believe the department chief sat down with "urban terrorists who are killing our kids with guns and drugs," the Sun-Times reports.

"These are not people the superintendent ought to be negotiating with, he said. "They've now been elevated to equals. They're not equals. They belong in jail. It's an admission that the Police Department can't control the streets.

Other aldermen agreed.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) called it a "desperation tactic."

Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th) expressed concerned.

"When I first read about it, I was thinking you're like legitimizing lawbreakers. It's like warning them if things don't get better, we're gonna enforce the law. Well, why aren't we doing that anyway?" said O'Connor said.

Weis, the FBI, federal and state prosecutors reportedly secretly met reputed gang leaders on the West Side in mid-August. They warned the gang leaders they would bring conspiracy cases against them or seize their cars or homes if the killings didn't stop.

"We're focusing on group responsibility," Weis said.

Police officials have another meeting scheduled later this week, but this time it's with aldermen.

They are expected to inform lawmakers on the department's tactics to curb gang violence and ease the manpower shortage.

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