Mayor Lori Lightfoot continued sparring with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday over who’s to blame for Chicago’s gun violence.
After Preckwinkle sent a letter to Lightfoot this week that defended how the county judicial system treats gun offenders and called on Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to “stop misleading the public about why gun violence remains a challenging problem in Chicago,” the mayor responded by criticizing the county’s system for tracking gun crimes and calling on Preckwinkle to publicize her statistics weekly.
But first, Lightfoot reminded reporters about the sound defeat she handed Preckwinkle in the April mayoral runoff, when Lightfoot won all 50 wards and got more than 70 percent of the vote.
“So the question’s about the letter, the nice letter I got from Toni Preckwinkle,” Lightfoot said at a news conference about preparations for the expected extreme heat this weekend. “Well, it’s July, not March. The election’s over and we had a result. So we’re going to continue to take the high road and move forward.”
This fight is so tedious. People are dying in the street and “leaders” are relitigating the election.
* But whatever happened to this Lori Lightfoot?…
As set forth in my public safety plan, we cannot arrest our way out of our violence problem. Instead, the city and its partners must treat this epidemic of violence as the public health crisis that it is. … In addition, we must follow the lead of cities like Boston and Oakland and increase the resources devoted to violence interruption techniques so we can stop violence before it happens.
And speaking of released offenders, this is also a Lightfoot quote…
Furthermore, the city, philanthropic foundations and local businesses must place more emphasis on, and commit more resources to, organizations across the city that help ease the transition of the thousands of citizens released annually from state and county jails back into society and the workforce. Providing legitimate jobs that pay a living wage is one of the best ways to reduce violence and recidivism and improve our communities.
The Chicago Police Board voted Thursday to fire a sergeant and three other officers over their alleged cover-up of the murder of Laquan McDonald by CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke.
The board voted unanimously to fire Officers Ricardo Viramontes and Janet Mondragon for their roles in the case, as well as Sgt. Stephen Franko. According to the board, all three officers made false statements, among other violations of department rules, in an attempt to have the shooting of McDonald by Van Dyke deemed as justified.
Officer Daphne Sebastian was also fired, according to the board’s vote, which was posted on the City of Chicago’s police discipline website.
Sgt. Franko was charged with violating five different rules and regulations of the Chicago Police Department, including taking action to “impede the department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals” and “making a false report, written or oral.”
* FOP response…
Statement made to Police Board on ruling tonight:
Your ruling today, so contrary to the verdict against the officers criminally charged in this case, Gaffney, Walsh, and March, destroys the reputation and careers of three excellent police officers.
It will no doubt lead to more violence in the city and quite likely more violence against the police, because officers understand that, by your ruling, an officer can be fired or indicted merely responding to a job.
They filed police reports directly contradictory to the video evidence.