Top cop renews call for courts to keep those accused of violence behind bars longer
“Any one of you could be having lunch on a patio sitting next to an offender on (electronic monitoring) who others are targeting to kill and you could get shot and killed trying to enjoy your day,” CPD Supt. Brown said Tuesday.
Fresh off a visit to the White House to discuss crime fighting strategies, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown Tuesday renewed his call for violent offenders to remain behind bars longer and pointed to the shooting death of a Chicago rapper to make his case.
Londre Sylvester, 31, was gunned down moments after he was released from jail Saturday night on electronic monitoring.
“It’s incredible that he was eligible for electronic monitoring, it’s madness, it’s making us all less safe,” Brown said of Sylvester, who had a history of felony arrests and convictions for gun crimes.
A companion of Sylvester’s and a separate bystander were wounded in the shooting. A total of 59 shell cases were recovered at the scene.
Court records indicate Sylvester’s fiancee had put up $5,000 to secure his release on charges of violating his bail in a 2020 gun case.
“The three words inked beneath the target tattoo on his throat summed up his lifestyle: ‘Kill to Survive’,” Brown said of Sylvester.
“Any one of you could be having lunch on a patio sitting next to an offender on (electronic monitoring) who others are targeting to kill and you could get shot and killed trying to enjoy your day,” the top cop added.
“We need to rethink that policy,” Brown said of releasing violent criminals who themselves are often targets for retaliation.
“I can’t stress this enough, and I know I’m getting repetitive, keeping violent offenders in jail longer will reduce violent crime in Chicago.”
Brown, who has used the majority of time at news conferences two Tuesdays in a row to hammer the same note on stemming the release of violent offenders, declined to share any discussions he might have had on the matter with President Joe Biden or Attorney General Merrick Garland while visiting the White House Monday.
Brown said the White House meeting was supposed to last one hour but went on for two hours. During that time “the president did a lot of listening. I know it seems like a trivial thing, but he really listened,” Brown said.
Both Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have repeatedly questioned the decisions of prosecutors and judges as this year’s violence continues to outpace 2020, the most violent year in the city since the mid-1990s.
Last week, Timothy Evans, chief judge of Cook County Circuit Court, dismissed Brown’s criticism as simplistic. “Speculation based on isolated cases is not the same as reality based on a complete picture,” he said in a statement.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx turned Brown’s criticism against him, saying police need to make more arrests for violent crimes.
“It starts with apprehending those who pull the trigger,” Foxx said last week. “Police must make an arrest before a case reaches the courthouse door.”
Spokespeople for Foxx and Evans had nothing new to add when reached Tuesday.