Weekend raids by Chicago police net 120 arrests

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Dozens of suspected gang members and weapons are off the streets after a series of weekend raids by Chicago police.

After 2016 ended as one of the most violent years in the city in decades, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the department will take a targeted approach on crime for 2017, including the use of specific data the department has been gathering, a new push to develop police-community partnerships in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods and increased community engagement.

Officers arrested 120 people over the weekend; 98 of them have previous arrests, 83 are previous convicted felons, 63 are documented gang members, 33 have previous gun charges against them, 15 of those arrested are already on parole and two will be federally prosecuted, police said.

Police collected 19 guns from the city's most violence streets, including four rifles, three shotguns and four fully-loaded magazines.

"One of the guns we recovered, it had four fully loaded magazine that we recovered with it. So a fully loaded magazine probably capable of about 10 rounds, so this gun could fire 40 shots at rival gang members. One of them had a defaced serial number on it, so these are crime guns. These are guns that are being used on the streets to commit crimes, robberies, shootings, drive-bys. These are the guns we want off the street," said Anthony Riccio, Chief of Organized Crime.

With January shaping up to be more deadly than last year's, which broke records with 51 murders, Supt. Johnson joined a news conference to applaud his officers' work on the gang roundup.

"The most difficult and dangerous thing that these police officers do on a daily basis is arrest a bad guy with a gun. And they did that 9 percent over what they did in 2015," Johnson said.

Johnson said that along with continued police efforts, it is crucial for the state to address flaws in gun sentencing laws to bring the violence in Chicago down. Johnson said they are waiting to hear from legislators later in January to find out what changes might be introduced at the state level.
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