Chicago Police Supt. David Brown says that the city will commit more resources to combating shootings as summer approaches, and as gun violence increases.
Over the weekend, a total of 36 shootings were reported by Chicago police, with nine individuals killed and nearly 40 more injured.
Brown says that the police department will continue to shift hours and cancel days off for officers as the city moves toward summer, and the potential full lifting of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
“I think this weekend speaks for itself on why you need more resources on the ground,” he said.
In the latest set of statistics available from Chicago police, released on May 1 and covering the first four months of the year, 997 people were shot and 187 had died in that time. That represents a significant increase from 2020, when 718 people were shot and 156 died during the same time period.
Violent crimes, including homicide and aggravated assault, had risen 4% from the start of the year, and were up 20% in April 2021, compared to the same month last year.
Brown is also asking Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx to seek higher bond amounts and to reduce the use of electronic monitoring when it comes to defendants in criminal cases, saying that many of those defendants are going back into communities where there are high “victimization rates.”
“We are debating whether the people of Chicago want violent offenders, murderers and others back in the community, and in communities of color,” he said. “These people are going back mostly into communities of color, who have, in my opinion, the highest victimization rates.”
According to an editorial published earlier this month by the Chicago Tribune, at least 94 individuals who had been charged with murder were out on electronic monitoring, a threefold increase in that number over the last year. At least 261 individuals were out on electronic monitoring who were charged as “armed habitual criminals,” meaning that they had at least two prior felony convictions.
Foxx has defended the use of electronic monitoring in the past, as has Cook County Chief Judge Thomas Evans, who says that judges are required by law to “impose the least restrictive pretrial conditions possible,” according to a Chicago Sun-Times editorial he penned in 2019.