CHICAGO (CBS) — Police Supt. Garry McCarthy became a bit testy Monday during his weekly news conference on gun confiscations, when reporters peppered him with questions about something completely different.
McCarthy had just finished spending 12 ½ minutes explaining how Chicago police had confiscated more than 3,600 illegal guns so far this year, and urging Illinois lawmakers to take action to require mandatory prison time for illegal gun possession.
When he began taking questions from reporters, and all of them were about the Montrose Beach fight, the superintendent didn’t hold back.
“I’m sorry, but I’m getting frustrated. I’m trying to tell you all about gun violence here in the city, which is our number one thing; and just because this gets the play of the media, you know, we had people who died over the weekend”, McCarthy said.
From Friday evening to early Monday, at least 4 people were killed and 29 others wounded in shootings across Chicago.
The superintendent said police will deal with disturbances in parks like the fight Sunday night at Montrose Beach, but the gun problem is more important.
“A disturbance at a park is something that we will fix moving forward, no two ways about it, but we have a problem here, and I’d like to bring attention to it, and that’s why we’re standing here,” he said. “I get frustrated, because I’m trying to draw attention to what’s happening here, and you all want to know about it, and when I’m trying to tell you, you go to something else. While I understand it’s a media event, it’s a media event every time somebody gets shot in this city. And I don’t mind talking about it, because I don’t mind bringing attention to it. The question is, what are we going to do about it? And I actually have solutions.”
McCarthy said the Chicago Police Department’s gun seizures this year exceed those of any other city in the country.
The superintendent said, without more serious penalties for illegal gun possession, too many criminals will end up back on the streets to commit another crime.