30 City Council members call special meeting for Wednesday on violent crime surge

Mayoral challenger Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) is leading the call for the city’s top cop to appear before the “Committee of the Whole” — meaning, all 50 alderpersons. He was joined by 29 colleagues, including several of the mayor’s hand-picked committee chairs.

SHARE 30 City Council members call special meeting for Wednesday on violent crime surge
Chicago City Hall.

Dozens of Chicago City Council members have signed on to an effort to bring Chicago Police Supt. David Brown before them to answer questions on violent crime.

Sun-Times file

Dozens of City Council members have called a special meeting for Wednesday to demand answers from Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown and other top mayoral aides on their plans to prevent the traditional summer surge of violence.

Mayoral challenger Ray Lopez (15th) is spearheading the call for Brown to answer questions posed by the “Committee of the Whole” — otherwise known as all 50 alderpersons.

Lopez is not alone. He was joined by 29 colleagues from across the city, including several of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s handpicked committee chairs.

Lopez argued imposing an earlier and younger curfew and banning unaccompanied minors on weekends from Millennium Park is “not a sustainable strategy” to prevent a summer more violent than Chicago has seen in decades, if not ever.

“If we do not have a cohesive strategy — if we don’t show leadership and get some leadership — the blood will continue to rain on Chicago streets,” Lopez told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The police department has yet to come up with anything cohesive with regards to summer safety other than simply cancelling days off for ‘planned emergencies,’ known as Father’s Day or Juneteenth. That’s not a sustainable solution. We need to have a very adult conversation. And we need to do that ... before Memorial Day weekend. Before seeing headlines of mass shootings and chaos once again.”

Lopez pointed to last week’s mass shooting that left two people dead and seven others injured outside a McDonald’s restaurant on the Near North Side.

“Seeing the images from Chicago and State was very reminiscent of the things that I’ve seen in my own community from the gang warfare in Back of the Yards and Brighton Park. To see this cancer spreading throughout the city of Chicago with no end in sight and no one stepping up to call it for what it is should alarm every Chicagoan,” Lopez said.

Chicago police work at the scene of a shooting Thursday near Chicago Avenue and State Street in the Near North Side neighborhood.

Chicago police work at the scene of a shooting Thursday near Chicago Avenue and State Street.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times

It’s not the first time Brown has been summoned to answer questions from alderpersons livid about a surge in violent crime. It happened last summer. And Lopez acknowledged nothing has changed. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

Lopez was asked whether the special meeting was aimed at pressuring Lightfoot to fire Brown, as he has promised to do if elected mayor.

“I’ve called for his resignation numerous times now. She’s not going to fire him. I don’t think she’s going to admit that he was a bad choice,” he said.

“But in the meantime, we need to raise the alarm so our people know that we hear them and we are trying our best to respond to their concerns and hopefully work to find solutions, if not with the police, then with the parks and the public schools.”

Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown, joined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at the Legler Regional Library on Friday May 20, 2022.

Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown, joined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at the Legler Regional Library on Friday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

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