Chicago City Council Approves David Brown as Police Superintendent

Note: Mayor Lori Lightfoot's Q&A session after the City Council meeting will be streamed live in the player above.

Chicago City Council unanimously approved the appointment of David Brown as the city's new police superintendent Wednesday.

All 50 aldermen voted in favor of Brown's appointment during the meeting, which was held via video conference for the second time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Lightfoot introduced the aldermen to Brown in last week's virtual meeting, and the City Council Committee on Public Safety voted Monday in favor of recommending Brown's appointment to the position.

Brown was with the Dallas Police Department for 33 years, spending his last six as the city's top cop before his retirement in 2016. Perhaps most notably during his tenure, he led the department during the city's deadly police shooting in July 2016, when a gunman targeted officers in downtown Dallas, fatally shooting five officers and wounding nine others.

Chicago City Council was scheduled to meet virtually Wednesday, with several items on the agenda, including a vote on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s pick for the city’s new police superintendent. Sandra Torres reports.

Since his retirement, he's taken advisory roles and speaking engagements on security, law enforcement and crisis management, according to his website.

Brown will replace former Supt. Eddie Johnson, who Lightfoot fired in December, one month before his previously planned retirement was set to take effect, alleging he intentionally misled her and the public about an incident in which he had been found slumped over the wheel of his car after a night of drinking. The position was then temporarily filled by interim Supt. Charlie Beck.

Several other items were expected to be covered during Wednesday's meeting, including a vote to give Lightfoot emergency powers when it comes to city spending and awarding contracts during the coronavirus crisis. Some questioned whether to give the mayor that authority.

The Chicago City Council held its first virtual meeting during the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

"We have to not be transparent in the council, between the legislative body and the executive body. I find problems there," 37th Ward Ald. Emma Mitts said.

Lightfoot was not surprised by the pushback, though city officials believe a majority of the expenses incurred related to the pandemic will be reimbursed by the federal government.

Wednesday's City Council meeting began at around 10 a.m. CST and includes time for public comment. Lightfoot was expected to speak after the meeting concluded.

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