Chicago Police Superintendent announced Wednesday that he will resign in two weeks, hours after it was confirmed that Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was defending him, lost her re-election in a mayoral primary, where violent crime has risen in the third-largest city. of the country took center stage. problem.
Superintendent David Brown was appointed by Lightfoot in April 2020.
The April election round will be contested between Paul Vallas, who has the backing of the police union, and Brandon Johnson, who has the backing of the teachers’ union.
All eight of Lightfoot’s rivals said they would fire Brown and replace him with someone else. That included the two candidates who advanced to the April 4 runoff, Vallas and Johnson.
At the time of his appointment, Brown stated that his goal was to get the city’s homicide rate below 300 per year. In 2022, Chicago more than doubled that with 695 homicides. That was slightly lower than the number of 820 in 2021.
Superintendent David Brown announced Wednesday that he is resigning his job as Chicago’s top police officer on March 16
Chicago police are working on the scene where a police officer was shot and killed along with a suspect who was seriously injured in the Gage Park area of the city
Brown revealed that he left hours before a Chicago police officer died after being wounded in a shootout while responding to a call from a man chasing a woman with a gun.
“I have accepted a job to become Chief Operating Officer of Loncar Lyon Jenkins, a personal injury law firm with seven offices in Texas,” Brown’s announcement read.
“I will step down as Chicago Police Superintendent effective March 16, 2023 so that the new mayor can begin the process of hiring the next Superintendent as soon as possible.”
The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability will compile a list of potential candidates to replace Brown and submit it to the new mayor of Chicago. The elected candidate must then be confirmed by the City Council before taking office.
On Wednesday, Lightfoot asked the committee to begin the selection process as soon as possible.
Brown, the former Dallas police chief between 2016 and 2020, will turn 63 on Oct. 22, the retirement age for Chicago officers.
He was the chief during the July 7, 2016 shooting that killed five police officers during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas.
His role began at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, where he was accused of enforcing Lightfoot’s strict lockdown protocols and the protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd that summer.
Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost her reelection over criticism of her soft-on-crime approach amid a steady spike in violence. Pictured: Lightfoot at her election night rally on Feb. 28
Paul Vallas (left) and Brandon Johnson (right) are heading into the second round of the April election
In 2021, Brown oversaw the response to the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. The response included changes to the force’s pursuit policy.
“It has been an honor and privilege to work alongside the brave men and women of the Chicago Police Department,” the statement of resignation continued.
“I will continue to pray that all officers return home safely at the end of their shift. May the Good God bless the city of Chicago and the men and women who serve and protect this great city.”
Lightfoot issued a statement praising Brown for achieving a record number of illegal gun recoveries for two consecutive years, leading to a double-digit reduction in violent crime by 2022.
The outgoing mayor said Brown’s efforts “greatly expand resources for officer welfare; and promoting more women to the higher exempt ranks than at any time in the history of the department.”
“I accepted his resignation and wanted to commend him for his accomplishments, not just for the citywide department…I want to personally thank him for his service to our city,” Lightfoot’s statement read.
Mayor frontrunner Paul Vallas criticized Brown’s time as superintendent, stressing his failure to make Chicago a safer place
Brandon Johnson’s rival focused more on the search for Brown’s successor in his response statement
Mayor Paul Vallas criticized Brown’s time as superintendent, stressing his failure to make Chicago a safer place.
“As mayor, I will appoint a new police inspector and command team from CPD that will prioritize community policing, end the failed friend and family promotion system, and invest in building trust between the police and our communities,” he said. he said.
Vallas added, “Public safety is a civil right and as mayor I will work with CPD and all of our communities to make Chicago the safest major city in America.”
His rival focused more on the search for Brown’s successor.
“As mayor, my preference will be to appoint someone from the current ranks of the department, but the most important thing is to appoint the right person for the job – someone who is cooperative, competent, compassionate, and who really cares about protecting and serving the people of our city,” Johnson said.
First Deputy Eric Carter will be appointed as interim superintendent until a new mayor is sworn in, Lightfoot said.
Brown pictured with New York City Mayor Eric Adams in July 2021
Public safety dominated the mayoral election, in which Lightfoot lost her bid for a second term.
Lightfoot has defended Brown saying the city needed an outsider to run the department after years of trouble and a federal consent decree directing CPD to make changes.
She also argued that after crime peaked during the pandemic, the city was making progress in reducing homicides and some other crimes. Her rivals said it wasn’t enough.
The officer killed Wednesday afternoon was shot several times on the southwest side of the city, Brown said.
The officer returned fire, wounding the suspect in the head, Brown said. The suspect, identified as an 18-year-old with a previous offense, was in critical condition Wednesday night.
The officer had five years on the job, Brown said. “He had a bright future ahead of him,” the overseer continued.
Lightfoot appeared with Brown at the press conference. “The Chicago police department has been hit by tragedy, and so has the city, really,” Lightfoot said.
Also on Wednesday, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, including Chicago, took John R. Lausch Jr. dismissal. He was appointed by ex-President Donald Trump in November 2017.
Chicago Police Union president John Caranzara has long been a critic of Brown’s
Brown has also been criticized by Chicago’s largest police union – the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 – for not supporting officers and canceling days off.
More than a dozen Chicago police officers have committed suicide since 2018, police said the Chicago Sun Times.
That is what the president of the union, John Catanzara, said WGN TV in an interview that Brown lost police support two months into his tenure when he began to publicly criticize officers.
“It was just blatant, overly disgusting. It just showed his willingness to be a political pawn for this mayor. He got as political as no superintendent has ever been and carried out the mayor’s order from day 1,” said Catanzara.
He was also accused of moving officers out of neighborhoods to increase surveillance in the city center.
In February, ABC Chicago reported that Brown wanted to leave in January but was convinced to stay on until after the election.
Along with those reports, it was reported that the city’s detective chief Brendan Deenihan would be leaving the force to take on a role at Google.
Chicago’s last five superintendents lasted only three years on the job, two, Garry McCarthy and Eddie Johnson, were fired.
The Texas-based company Brown will be joining is known in the state as The Strong Arm, a tagline based on a long-running ad campaign. In 2016, company founder Brian Loncar took his own life by overdosing on cocaine in his car.
Loncar’s daughter Grace had committed suicide at the age of 16 days earlier after battling depression.
In 2010, Brown’s son, David Brown Jr., was shot dead by a police officer after he shot and killed a stranger on a suburban sidewalk and then also killed a responding officer during an apparent mental breakdown.
“My whole body throbbed with pain, as if I had received an electric shock,” Brown recounted in a 2017 book. “I grieved just as deeply for the loved ones of those my son had taken.”