Pritzker says Biden open to sending federal help to stem violence in Illinois | Illinois

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(The Center Square) – With continued violence in Chicago and other communities, minority statehouse Republicans are urging the Democratic majority to take a different approach to criminal justice reform.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker met with President Joe Biden on Wednesday to talk about infrastructure.

On Thursday, Pritzker said he also discussed the issue of violence and how state law enforcement agencies are working with federal agencies to intercept illegally trafficked guns to Chicago. The governor also said Chicago isn’t the only place being impacted by increased violence.

“Chicago is not alone, Rockford, Carbondale, Quincy and Champaign, we have major cities across the state of Illinois that have increased violence, especially during this period of COVID-19,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said he also told Biden that Illinois may be requesting more federal help.

“I also wanted him to know that we need, as I may ask for resources from the federal government for other parts of the state, that he was willing to be of assistance to us and he is,” Pritzker said.

Separately, state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, said what the governor and statehouse Democrats need to do is get tougher on crime, because the violence is spilling into the suburbs.

“In my home county of DuPage County we’ve seen a rise in all sorts of crimes,” Mazzochi said. “We’ve seen rises in burglary and carjacking and where a local county sheriff has estimated that on any given day, probably 40% of people in his jail have Cook County or Chicago addresses.”

Republicans and police groups have been critical of legislation approved at the statehouse they say is too lax on criminals and too harsh on law enforcement.

Standing with the governor Thursday in Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dismissed questions about policies some say are too lenient leading to violent criminals being put back on the streets after being arrested with monitoring devices.

“I’m not here for political games,” Foxx said. “We’re here to work collectively and collaboratively with our state, local and federal officials to address the violent crime.”

Mazzochi said last August a man who allegedly attempted to rape a girl in DuPage County was out of Cook County jail with just an ankle monitor.

“So I certainly understand why Kim Foxx doesn’t want to have to actually address the real-world consequences of her actions, but they are leading to real-world consequences,” Mazzochi said. “They are damaging people, they are hurting people, and it is shameful that she is not willing to at least take another look and reverse course.”

Police groups and community activists have said a focus to stopping crime needs to be on mental health, community programs and recognition police are necessary for public safety.



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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