Illinois governor candidate Richard Irvin promises to repeal criminal justice reforms

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Calling crime an "epidemic," Republican gubernatorial candidate and Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin laid out his plan to address it Wednesday.

Joined by law enforcement representatives who are endorsing him for governor, Irvin continued his tough on crime rhetoric on the heels of a violent Memorial Day weekend where 47 people were shot, nine fatally, in Chicago.

SEE ALSO | Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin pulls city float from Pride parade

"We have a governor who wants to handcuff the police rather than handcuffing those who commit crimes," Irvin said. "Emboldening the very criminals who are terrorizing our neighborhoods."

EMBED More News Videos

You've seen the ads, so you know the race for Illinois governor is heating up.



Irvin, who is in a tight battle with Darren Bailey in the Republican primary, blamed Gov. JB Pritzker and Democrats for the sweeping criminal justice reform act passed last year, saying things have to change to make people feel safe.

SEE ALSO | Republicans in race for Illinois governor to participate in ABC7 debate

"That means keeping cash bail for violent criminals, banning anonymous complaints against police offices to ruin their careers, restoring felony murder to hold killers accountable," Irvin said.

But while Irvin calls crime an epidemic, new statistics released by the Chicago Police Department show that shootings are down 15.6% from the start of this year through the end of May. Murders are down 7.7% compared to the same five months last year.

Irvin also found himself on the defensive about his recent criticism of the FOID, or Firearm Owner's Identification System, which he called "broken."

That despite praising Pritzker when he signed a bill in Aurora last August to expand background checks, a move in response to calls for gun reform after the mass shooting the Pratt manufacturing plant.

"Those FOID card changes were, you know, that Pritzker talked about was not enough to go beyond what we need to address those issues," Irvin said.

Irvin's calls for change could run into major problems in Springfield with Democrats controlling the House and Senate. But he says he's worked across the political aisle before, and would do the same if elected governor. But first, he's got to win the June 28th primary.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.