McCarthy dismissive of crime research

April 15, 2014

(WBEZ/Patrick Smith)
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

In the wake of a violent weekend Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is picking up an old talking point.

According to the Chicago police there were 26 shooting incidents this weekend, leaving 32 victims. Three people died from their wounds.

McCarthy says Illinois needs tougher gun laws, including mandatory minimum sentences for people caught carrying illegal guns.

“We’ve had this conversation,” McCarthy said at a press conference Monday. “We’ve been having this conversation since I got here.”

Crime researchers say there’s no evidence to suggest that mandatory minimums reduce gun violence,  but they say there’s evidence that additional police officers would bring down violence.

McCarthy’s response: “Research is research, right?  And you can make an argument any which way you want to based on what data says.  It’s real simple.  If you don’t go to jail for gun possession you continue to carry guns.  You continue to carry guns, people get shot.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was unable to push the mandatory minimums bill through the legislature last year. The sponsor, Rep. Mike Zalewski, a Democrat,  has said he plans to make another push,  though there’s no movement on the bill right now.