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Chicago’s top cop ‘must stop misleading the public’ about violence, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in heated letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Juan Perez

Chicago’s top cop ‘must stop misleading the public’ about violence, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in heated letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot

By JUAN PEREZ JR.

Chicago’s top cop ‘must stop misleading the public’ about violence, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says in heated letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle at her office in Chicago on April 24, 2019. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle reignited her criticism of Chicago’s police response to street violence this week in a letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot that defended how the county judicial system treats gun offenders and flashed back to the recent rivals’ heated mayoral race.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson “must stop misleading the public about why gun violence remains a challenging problem in Chicago,” Preckwinkle wrote in a Tuesday letter to the mayor, who beat her in every city ward during the spring mayoral runoff election.

“Attacking our public safety stakeholders is not the answer.”

Preckwinkle said she would seek Johnson’s dismissal during her failed mayoral bid, and stood by those comments Wednesday. But with the election over and violence marring successive summer city weekends, Lightfoot and Johnson both have criticized county policies that they argue allow too many gun offenders out on bond.

Preckwinkle placed responsibility at her colleagues’ feet, with a message that could widen a political rift between two powerful women who supervise local government.

“The problem we have is that the Police Department in the city of Chicago is not arresting people for murders and shootings,” Preckwinkle told the Tribune on Wednesday, pointing to the department’s low clearance rates for violent crimes compared with national averages.

“The letter focused on the superintendent and (Fraternal Order of Police) and others’ response to the violence, suggesting that the criminal justice reforms that we’ve undertaken somehow were responsible for that violence — which is ridiculous and untrue,” the board president said.

Lightfoot’s office declined to comment on Preckwinkle’s letter on Wednesday.

To read the entire letter click here



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