Mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed Monday to two brothers on parole charged with the murder of Nykea Aldridge, Dwyane Wade’s cousin, as Exhibit A in the case for stiffer sentences for repeat gun offenders.
“Both of these brothers — these thugs — had prior convictions with a gun. . . . Both on parole serving a fraction of the time for their prior convictions and they’re out on the streets with easy access to guns. No sense of consequences for what they’ve done,” the mayor said.
“A mother is trying to register her kids at a good school, Dulles School. . . . At what point does the criminal justice system say they don’t belong on the streets of the city of Chicago?” he said. “. . . The criminal justice system is undermining the public safety on our streets.”
After every violent weekend, either Emanuel, his handpicked Police Supt. Eddie Johnson — or both — beat the drum for stiffer sentences and stricter gun laws.
Their emotional tirades against gangbangers who fire their weapons without compunction or consequence;, judges who send them back to the streets; and community leaders who refuse to speak out against the bloodbath would be more powerful if they weren’t so familiar.
On Monday, Emanuel was singing the same old song — and he was sick of it.
It happened after Chicago Police charged two brothers who were both convicted felons on parole with firing the shots that struck the young mother — who happened to be Wade’s cousin — pushing her newborn baby in a stroller. Nykea Aldridge, 32, had just come from registering her older children at Dulles Elementary school.
“We keep coming upon the same facts: Repeat gun offenders who continually run in and out of the criminal justice system with no consequences who are back on the streets wreaking havoc,” the mayor said Monday.
“We keep coming upon as a city the same facts. To quote [former] President [Bill] Clinton, `Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the first sign of insanity.’ ”
Pounding the lectern for emphasis, the mayor said, “You have a mother who is trying to enroll her children at school. The family and those kids have rights too. The law has to change. It’s not the whole answer. But it is part of addressing the problem.”
Emanuel pointed to a University of Chicago study that’s about to be released that shows that roughly 40 percent of the people charged with murder in Chicago last year had prior gun convictions.
“The criminal justice system is not up to what is required as it deals with guns, easy access and gun violence in holding those [offenders] accountable,” the mayor said.
“You’ve heard me before talk about a minimum like New York City of three years associated with repeat [gun] offenders. Kwame Raoul’s bill. The superintendent has talked to Kwame Raoul. We support the legislation. I’ve already talked to the leadership about moving it. It would specifically set clear rules as it relates to repeat gun offenders.”
Career criminals Darwin and Derren Sorrells are accused of opening fire in broad daylight on Friday afternoon in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood on the South Side.
They allegedly missed their target but hit an innocent victim in a story painfully familiar to Chicago.
The Sorrells brothers are accused of taking aim at a driver who had been hired to deliver several women from the suburbs to the 6300 block of South Calumet, authorities said.
One brother made “eyes” with the driver, CPD spokesman Frank Giancamilli said. He didn’t know “what to make of him,” and he decided to go get his sibling.
The brothers later began to harass the driver, who ran north on Calumet, a prosecutor said. Meanwhile, Aldridge happened to be walking south on Calumet, having just registered one of her children at a nearby school. That’s when the brothers allegedly opened fire, missing the driver but shooting Aldridge, police said.
The latest headline to enhance Chicago’s reputation as the nation’s murder capital prompted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to issue a crass appeal in one of his infamous tweets.
“African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” wrote Trump, who later offered his condolences to the Wade family.
Emanuel, an early supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, was asked about Trump’s decision to use the murder for political gain.
“I’m looking for solutions — not trying to play it in an election game,” the mayor said.
Obviously referring to Trump, a former campaign donor to the mayor, Emanuel said: “He’s got an election. He’s not interested in Chicago. I’m interested in making sure our streets are safe so when a mother is enrolling their children, they can do it.”
Contributing: Mitch Dudek, Jon Seidel