* ABC 7…
Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy stood outside Stroger Hospital Friday to call for change to deal with the violence that has once again pushed Chicago’s homicides over 600 for 2017.
“It’s not just the wounded who come here to Stroger Hospital, but it’s the brother and sisters, the family members, entire communities that suffer from urban post traumatic stress disorder,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy blamed state and local leaders for failing people.
“Here in Illinos in 2017, we should already have bump stock legislation signed into law. Here in Illinois in 2017 we should already have a gun dealer licensing bill signed into law,” said Ra Joy, Kennedy’s running mate.
* The Trace…
A top contender for the Democratic nomination for governor of Illinois said that state elected officials, including members of his own party, haven’t done nearly enough to combat gun violence.
In an interview with The Trace in his campaign office in downtown Chicago, Chris Kennedy, a son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, questioned the commitment of lawmakers after measures intended to fight gun crime failed earlier this year in the state Legislature. One of the bills would have banned bump stocks, the gun accessories that mimic machine-gun fire which were used by the killer in the Las Vegas massacre in October. It was defeated in the House after lawmakers, including Democrats, criticized it for being too broad.
“I don’t know how you could have that many Democrats in the House and Senate and not get something done,” Kennedy said. “I think the party has lost its way.”
Kennedy also called for a reform of the state’s property tax system, which he said shortchanges public schools, underfunds police, and has led to drastic cuts in social services — all of which he said have contributed to persistent gun violence.
That bump stock bill was intentionally drafted by the House Democrats to lose. They could’ve easily passed a clean bump stock ban, but the HDems wanted a political issue.
The population at the Cook County Jail has fallen below 6,000 inmates, its lowest point in decades, sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Sheriff Tom Dart, said the number has been declining for some time in part because of a drop in arrests, but the biggest change came some three months ago when criminal court judges were ordered to set bail only in amounts that defendants could afford to pay.
Since the order took effect Sept. 18, the jail population has dropped to 5,909 inmates as of Thursday, down by more than 1,500, Smith said.
Authorities credited the recent drop in the jail’s population largely to an order by Chief Judge Timothy Evans requiring judges to set affordable bail amounts for defendants charged with nonviolent felonies. […]
Of the approximately 2,000 felony defendants released in the two months after the order took effect, about 93 percent had not committed a new offense by Nov. 30, Milhizer said. Nine out of 10 had appeared for all their scheduled court dates, he said, though he noted that the numbers involve a short time frame.