CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Thursday insisted that an especially bloody 4th of July weekend was not an indication that the city’s efforts to reduce violence are failing.
Johnson said the weekend’s bloodshed was “unacceptable” and “frustrating.” Between Friday afternoon and Wednesday morning, 101 people were shot in Chicago, with 14 dead and 87 wounded.
However, the superintendent suggested the violence could have been worse.
“The thing that you can’t measure with violence is the violence we actually prevent, and we know that we do. You just can’t measure that,” he said. “You know, it rubs me when people throw out this narrative that the entire city is on fire, because that’s just incorrect. A lot of our districts are seeing a nice reduction in violence.”
Johnson noted the majority of the violence occurred in sections of the South and West sides that traditionally have the highest crime rates in Chicago.
Emanuel rejected any suggestion police were unprepared for the spate of violence over the Independence Day weekend, and that the department relies too much on predictive technology.
“What I reject to the question is that somehow that one thing is the answer. Everybody knows it’s about putting more police on the street; and getting kids, guns, and gangs off the street. And there’s multiple things that go into that to create the public safety we want to see in all parts of the city of Chicago,” he said.
The mayor said that means getting communities and clergy involved, and boosting local businesses.
For his part, Johnson said it’s not time to rethink the current police strategy.
“Every now and then we’ll see a blip. You know, that’s how it goes, but that doesn’t mean you stop,” he said.