Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced that she will not renew the contract of Police Superintendent David Brown, citing concerns about rising crime rates and the department’s handling of recent incidents.
The decision to part ways with Brown comes as Chicago is experiencing a surge in violent crime, with homicides up 58% in 2022 compared to the previous year. Critics have blamed Brown and his department for failing to stem the tide of violence, while supporters argue that the city’s crime problem is more complex than any person or agency can solve.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Mayor Lightfoot said that she appreciated Brown’s service but that “now is the time for a change in leadership at the Chicago Police Department.” The statement also noted that the mayor plans to launch a national search for a new police superintendent in the coming weeks.
Brown, who was appointed by Lightfoot in 2020, has been a controversial figure in Chicago politics, with some accusing him of being too tough on crime and others criticizing him for not doing enough to address systemic issues within the police department.
The announcement of Brown’s departure comes just weeks after a high-profile incident in which Chicago police officers were caught on camera using excessive force during an arrest. The incident drew widespread condemnation and led to calls for Brown’s resignation.
The decision to part ways with Brown is likely to be seen as a significant moment in Mayor Lightfoot’s tenure, as she seeks to address Chicago’s crime problem and build trust between the police department and the community it serves.
While some have praised the move as a step in the right direction, others have raised concerns about the potential disruption to the department and the need for a new leader to quickly implement effective strategies to combat the surge in violent crime.
Mayor Lightfoot has acknowledged the challenges facing the city. Still, he remains committed to finding a solution that prioritizes public safety while addressing the underlying issues contributing to Chicago’s crime problem. The search for a new police superintendent will begin in the coming weeks. The mayor has vowed to take a comprehensive and transparent approach to the selection process.