UPDATE: City Council will hold a special meeting, virtually, at 11 a.m. on Friday
CHICAGO (CBS) — Out-of-control violence and a looming hot holiday weekend have almost two dozen aldermen demanding answers from Chicago Police Supt. David Brown.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slight Chance Of Storms Overnight; A Quiet Pattern To Come
As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Tuesday night, the aldermen – 25 at last count – are ready to call for a special City Council meeting to get those answers. They believe the city is in a state of emergency, and they are ready to demand the police superintendent appear before the Council.
Many say such an appearance is long overdue.
Last weekend, there were 74 shootings in Chicago and six people were victims of homicides.
This all came as the often-violent Fourth of July weekend is on the horizon.
Aldermen like Gilbert Villegas (36th) of the Northwest Side said the city’s residents are out of patience.
“The whole City Council and the mayor are not moving quick enough to address the violence,” Villegas said, “I think it’s something that my constituents are fed up with.”
Villegas is one the 25 aldermen who signed onto a letter to City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Ald. Christopher Taliaferro (29th), demanding he call a hearing this week to discuss three crime and police-related ordinances that have sat undebated for the past month.
But many who signed the letter said they really want time with police Supt. Brown.
“I feel as if David Brown in his 15 months is not as accessible,” said Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th). “We need to hear from him.”
The aldermen said they do not hear from Brown enough.READ MORE: At Least 2 People Killed, 32 Wounded In Gun Violence In Chicago So Far This Weekend
“I don’t know if he’s in the city half the time. I don’t know if he’s going to be at our hearings when we ask him to be there, and he’s definitely not in the ward walking the same streets I’m walking,” said Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th), “so if we have to compel him to show up at a hearing to get answers, then so be it.”
There is an ultimatum. The letter states that if the committee hearing is not confirmed by morning, the aldermen will be forced to file for a special meeting of the City Council demanding Brown’s presence for Friday.
“I’m not interested in soundbites or press releases. I want to have the ability to ask the questions and get what I’m concerned with – get those questions answered, directly, face-to-face,” O’Shea said.
“I would echo some of my colleagues’ concerns that the superintendent has not been as accessible,” added Villegas.
Villegas wants a specific violence prevention strategy in place, immediately. He said his constituents want to help.
“To do nothing is not what I was elected to do,” Villegas said.
Ald. Tailaferro said he is out of state visiting his ailing mother, but will try to get back to hold a meeting – which will address subjects such as officer fatigue and reallocation.
But that may not be definite enough, and that special City Council meeting request will likely be filed before noon Wednesday.
There was on response Tuesday night from the Chicago Police Department.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office released the following statement Wednesday morning:MORE NEWS: 1 Killed, 2 Wounded In West Pullman Shooting
“Transparency is a critical aspect of ensuring public safety and Aldermen have the ability to work directly with the Chicago Police Department toward ensuring that their respective wards’ needs and concerns are promptly addressed. Since January, all fifty Aldermen were given numerous opportunities to attend a series of briefings hosted by the Superintendent and his team covering the Police Department’s plan for summer deployments, summer operations, and the summer safety strategy.”