Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy criticized for city's homicide rate

February 22, 2013 2:51:07 PM PST
Some Chicago aldermen are questioning the leadership of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy because of the city's high homicide rate.

However, McCarthy says there is no rift between him and city council- even as some aldermen expressed a growing dissatisfaction with his crime fighting strategy.

Alderman Willie Cochran, a former police officer, says he remains critical of McCarthy's move to disband the department's specialized response units.

"Those changes that the superintendent has made correlate with some of the crime that has escalated. So when we look at that we wonder if these changes have been the appropriate changes for our community," said Cochran.

"Everybody's not going to be satisfied all the time," McCarthy said Friday morning at a police recruit graduation. "People are frustrated with the violence in this city. What's important and the mayor really articulated it today is that we've identified what the problems are."

McCarthy does have his share of supporters- including Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

While addressing the audience at the graduation, Emanuel indirectly responded to the criticism of his top cop.

"We cannot be effective in our deterrents of crime in the first place if there's a turnstile in the criminal justice system," Emanuel said.

For the first time in four years, there have been more than 500 homicides in the city.

Additionally, the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton, 15, put Chicago's gun violence in the national spotlight.

"We are genuinely concerned. We're aware of where our constituents are in respect to this issue and we're not going to let it fester without speaking out about it," said Alderman Howard Brookins, who is also the council's Black Caucus chairman.

However, Brookins says the group doesn't want McCarthy replaced and hopes the superintendent will reassess his crime fighting initiatives.


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