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Top Cop 'Sick And Tired' Of Violence, Wants Help From Springfield

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Police Supt. Eddie Johnson renewed his call for state lawmakers to help curb gun violence in Chicago, on the heels of another bloody weekend, which included the murder of a police officer's son.

"Any leader of the city of Chicago that thinks what we're seeing out on the streets is okay shouldn't be a leader," Johnson said.

Visibly frustrated, the superintendent addressed reporters at Police Headquarters on Monday, after at least 52 people were shot across the city over the weekend, including nine homicides.

Johnson said those numbers have become all too familiar. For 13 consecutive weekends this year, at least 39 people have been shot in Chicago.

The superintendent said 77 percent of the victims from this weekend's shootings already were known to police, and between them have been arrested a combined 672 times.

"At the end of every weekend, I review the details of the violence that occurs in some of our communities, and quite frankly, I'm just sick of it. There's no other way to describe it. I'm just sick of it," he said.


One of those slain this weekend was Arshell "Trey" Dennis III, the 19-year-old son of Chicago Police Officer Arshell "Chico" Dennis, who once served as a patrolman alongside Johnson in the Gresham District. Police have said they believe the shooting was a case of mistaken identity, as neither Officer Dennis' son, nor another man who was wounded in the shooting had any gang affiliations, criminal records, or previous contact with Chicago police or other law enforcement agencies.

Johnson said part of the problem with gun violence in Chicago is repeat offenders who are allowed back on the streets after spending a short time behind bars. He said he believes sentences are too light for most repeat gun offenders.

"We need to put something in place that will allow them to sentence these individuals on the high end of the sentencing bar; not give them probation, and let them out quickly," he said.

The superintendent said some defendants charged with retail theft spend more time in jail before trial than repeat gun offenders.

"CPD officers are out on the street every day doing their job to put these individuals in jail. In fact, this year's gun arrests are up over compared to the same time last year. The failure lies in the inability to appropriately hold these offenders accountable when they've been sentenced," he said.

Johnson said proposed legislation in Springfield would allow judges to impose stricter sentence for defendants convicted more than once of illegally carrying a gun.

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