Police Superintendent David Brown addressed the issue during a press conference, where he was asked about last weekend’s violence, which left at least 12 dead and 70 people shot across Chicago.
“What we can do different is challenge the courts to render Chicago safe,” Brown said, according to Chicago’s WBBM-TV. “Holding offenders in jail longer not releasing murderers back into our community. That’s what we can do different.”
Brown noted that 90 people in the city have been charged with murder and released on electronic monitoring, FOX 32 Chicago reported. In the past, Chief Judge Timothy Evans said those cases either involved first-time offenders or were in self-defense.
Brown claimed that police officers in Chicago were doing their part, but contended that violent offenders needed top consequences in the city’s courts.
“Can the courts hold people in jail who are violent, who have been arrested, who have been charged with murder,” Brown said angrily, according to FOX 32. “Murder. I don’t think there is another city in this country releasing people who have been charged with murder back into the community on electronic monitoring.”
The station reached out to the chief judge’s office, which responded with a press release from earlier this month.
“Judges are guided by looking at the criminal backgrounds of defendants before them. Only those individuals judged to pose a clear and present danger to society are kept in jail before trial,” it read, in part.
At least five of the victims last weekend were under the age of 18, reports said.
The comments by Brown come as officials with Chicago’s police union and the city reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that will give officers a pay raise and would expand on some accountability reforms.