On Wednesday’s broadcast of “CNN This Morning,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson responded to a question on an uptick in most violent crime categories in the city in 2023 by stating that homicides and shootings have fallen and money “for restoration and reparations” will help address the “cycle of violence” in the city.
Co-host Poppy Harlow asked, “I do want to ask you about crime in Chicago, just poring through the latest data from the Chicago Police Department, the murder rate is down from 2022, but all other forms of violent crime, Mr. Mayor, are up from a year ago, up 17% overall. Are Chicagoans going to be safer in 2024?”
Johnson responded, “Well, what I’ve built within these last seven months — in order for us to have a better, stronger, and safer Chicago, it really requires the full force of government. And as you’ve indicated, homicides are down, shootings are down, but, yes, what we’ve experienced in the city of Chicago, cities all over the country are experiencing. And I’ve just released my full-out community safety plan that not only gets at the root causes of violence in the city of Chicago, but we’re making critical investments. Those investments look like what I’ve presented in my last budget, a quarter of a billion dollars to address homelessness, $100 million for violence prevention. We added 80 million more dollars to our youth employment program, of which we hired 25,000 young people just this summer, that’s a 20% increase from the previous year. I’m going to hire 4,000 additional young people this summer. We have stood up an entire office dedicated to re-entry, so individuals who are returning to our communities who have been incarcerated, because of failed policies, we’ll have a welcoming space for them. I’ve added a half a million dollars for restoration and reparations to address, again, the cycle of violence, which looks like school closings, the closing of mental health facilities, [in] which I’ve invested in now. We’re going to open up two mental health clinics that were closed from two previous administrations ago. And so, in order for us to build a better, stronger, safer Chicago, it requires investments, and that’s what this budget has done.”