CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Police alone can't solve Chicago's violence problem. But a group of city leaders say the police superintendent has been ineffective and want him fired.
With violence a top concern in many primarily African-American neighborhoods in Chicago, there is no shortage of people willing to join the chorus of those calling for a new Chicago Police Superintendent.
“His policies are not productive. His policies are not safe. I agree with the Black Caucus, I definitely feel that McCarthy should be fired he should be terminated immediately,” Community activist William Calloway said.
One day before Superintendent Garry McCarthy is set to go before the city council for budget hearings, the Black Caucus put him on notice.
“The Black Caucus is here today to call on Mayor Emanuel to fire Chicago's Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy,” Roderick Sawyer, Chairman Chicago Black Caucus, said during a news conference Monday afternoon.
The Aldermen said McCArthy's crime reduction strategy has been ineffective, he has not recruited or promoted enough African Americans, and he has been unresponsive to many of their calls.
They also voiced concern about McCarthy's community listening tours being misguided.
“We've been trying to get him to listen to us for a few years now and I think there was a level of disrespect amongst us here in the Black Caucus that he did not listen to what our concerns were in our community,” 9th ward alderman Anthony Beale said.
McCarthy has repeatedly blamed lax gun laws and a lack of tough penalties for offenders as being the major contributor to the violence in Chicago.
But alderman criticized McCarthy for, in their minds, over prioritizing anti-violence measures at the expense of everything else.
“Bascially, if you don't commit any violence, everything else is okay. Our communities are inundated with narcotics and things. And as long as people are not committing violence, that has basically been allowed to exist, Black Caucus Co-Chair Jason Ervin said.
“My concern is that my constituents get sick and tired of hearing about statistics and no action,” Carrie Austin told FOX 32 News.
The mayor expressed his support for McCarthy, and some black alderman said replacing McCarthy is not the answer.
Ald. Will Burns, 4th Ward said, “It would be one thing if you sat down with the superintendent and sat down with the mayor’s office and said, ‘these are our ideas’ and they are rejected out of hand, then your next step is to call for the superintendent to be fired.”
As he marched with constituents to raise awareness about violence, Alderman Willie Cochran said a new superintendent is not the answer to the violence problem.
“The violence problem answer requires a lot more than just the superintendent.”