Chicago millionaire mayoral candidate Willie Wilson says police should ‘hunt’ people like a ‘rabbit’ if they run away

Chicago millionaire mayoral candidate Willie Wilson says police should ‘hunt’ people like a ‘rabbit’ if they run away

A controversial Chicago candidate called on police to engage fleeing suspects to “hunt them down like a rabbit” during the first mayoral debate before the February municipal election.

“Somebody run, chase someone on foot or in a car, that police officer should be able to chase you down and hunt you down like a rabbit,” Willie Wilson said Thursday during the debate.

Wilson, an unsuccessful two-time mayoral candidate, prominent local businessman and philanthropist, he previously grabbed headlines for giving away more than $1 million worth of gasoline to Chicago residents.

During the debate, he criticized incumbent Lori Lightfoot, urging the Democrat to “uncuff the police” after a year of high homicide rates in Chicago.

Ms. Lightfoot told reporters after the debate that the comment caught her off guard, saying it dated back to the era of Chicago Police Commander John Burge, who, as the independent has reportedhe had a long history of abusing and torturing black men in police custody.

“For a mayoral candidate to say we have to uncuff the police and let them hunt human beings like rabbits, that’s extraordinary,” he said. “I totally and utterly condemn it.”

Mr. Wilson, meanwhile, said political illinois he stood firm in his statements, and that the violence in Chicago was a “personal” issue, because one of his sons was shot and killed.

“If someone murders another person, the police must hunt down the perpetrators at all costs,” the businessman saying in a written statement.

2022 among Chicago’s most violent years since the crime wave’s peak in the 1990s, though Crain’s Chicago Business analysis found that most homicides were concentrated in historically impoverished neighborhoods. The wealthier areas of Chicago have seen record declines in homicides.

The police have long been a central issue in Chicago, which has been under a consent decree required by the federal government regulating their police practices since 2019. The decree fell apart after a long history of CPD misconduct, including the 2014 cover-up of evidence in the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Ms. Lightfoot, the former president of the Chicago Police Board, has faced criticism for doing too much and too little to curb police abuse.

In June, after multiple police shootings, a new policy it became known by prohibiting officers from pursuing fleeing persons or suspects during misdemeanor calls.

The mayor has also disputed defended CPD’s decision not to fire an officer linked to the right-wing group Proud Boys and allowed numerous Chicago police officers circumventing a city vaccination mandate.

Surveillance was also a major topic during other candidates’ mayoral debate.

Brandon Johnson, a public school teacher supported by some of the city’s unions, argued that Chicago has one of the best-funded police departments in the country but still fights crime, noting the need to invest in other community Services.

“You really have to invest in people. It’s pretty straightforward,” he said. saying. “There is a direct correlation between youth employment and the reduction of violence.”

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