CHICAGO (CBS) — The city’s top cop struck a defensive tone Monday when asked about the weekend violence, blaming the court system for releasing offenders.

Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said the courts let out people who have committed violent crimes.

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“What we can do different is challenge the courts to render Chicago safe,” Brown said. “Holding offenders in jail longer not releasing murderers back into our community. That’s what we can do different.”

Brown’s comments come after another violent weekend. At least 71 people were shot across Chicago over the weekend, and 10 of them were killed.

 

At least five of the victims were under age 18, including one boy who was killed and another who was injured when they were shot in a backyard in Englewood early Saturday morning.

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Brown said his department shouldn’t be the only one asked about repeat offenders.

“You should be adversarial to the courts. Use the same energy you just asked me that question to ask the courts,” Brown said. “Why are you releasing violent people, dangerous people that Chicago police officers arrest and charge, back into these communities to create this environment of lawlessness, that we’re seeing here.”

Brown asked “can the court hold people in jail who are violent, who have been arrested, who have been charged with murder. Murder,” Brown said angrily. “I don’t think there’s another city in this country releasing people charged with murder back into the community all electronic monitoring.”

The superintendent said he’d do things differently.

“If we had our druthers, we would keep violent people in jail longer. We would hold them accountable for the violence. We would not release murderers back into the community on electronic monitoring,” Brown said. “We would hold absconders from electronic monitoring program more accountable. There’s people AWOL from electronic monitors. We would fund the sheriff much more. So he would have a capacity to manage electronic monitoring program challenge any and all documents that support releasing violent people.”

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff