Cops are 'doing their part in protecting the people of Chicago,' Supt. Brown says

Chicago's Fourth of July holiday weekend was marred by violence, as the number of people shot hit triple digits for the first time in four years.

But Chicago's top cop is defending his officers and their game plan, saying they did all they could to keep the peace.

"Chicago's police officers are doing their part in protecting the people of Chicago," said Police Superintendent David Brown.

Brown says do not blame his department for what was likely the most violent holiday weekend in Chicago history. One-hundred people were shot over the three-day period and 18 of them died.

Thirteen of the shooting victims were children or teens, including a one-month-old child now in critical condition and a pair of 13-year-olds hit during a mass shooting at 61st and Wabash.

The 15th District police commander and a sergeant were shot trying to break up a gathering in the Austin neighborhood, which police now say appears to be intentional.

"We have verifiable evidence of someone discharging a firearm in their direction and that's when they get struck," said Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.


So why all the violence? Brown contends it is part of a national surge that is impacting all big cities and he says Chicago’s homicide rate has actually climbed far less than others.

And again, he points blame at the Cook County court system, accusing judges of refusing to lock up violent criminals.

"It's unsafe to release violent people into a community that has a high level of retaliation back into the community, and then be surprised that people shoot at, targeting these people," said Brown.

Brown said police recovered 244 illegal guns over the holiday weekend, while working long overtime hours. And he says they faced multiple dangerous situations, including rocks and bottle rockets from a crowd of 1,500 teens swarming Michigan Avenue Sunday night.

"I am truly proud of their efforts over the weekend. They risked – literally – risked life and limb," Brown said. "Strategy-wise, we did our part."

It is the most shootings over the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago since 2017 when 103 people were shot. But that was a five-day holiday weekend, two days longer than this year.