Critics say better judges, more police would curb city violence - New York News

Critics say better judges, more police would curb Chicago violence

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Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden and retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore. Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden and retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There is a new focus Wednesday, on what's behind the crime in Chicago. Police are pointing the finger at Cook County judges.

A retired general who headed up a national disaster team also said Wednesday Mayor Emanuel needs to consider using state police.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced charges against four suspects in the Cornell Square Park shooting that left 13 injured last Thursday, including a 3-year-old boy.

Although Deonta "Tay-Man" Howard's mother told FOX 32 News he miraculously doing fine, he is still scared to go back to the Back of the Yards basketball park he used to frequent.

McCarthy said one of those charged with the shooting should never have been on the street. Bryon Champ, 21, is a convicted felon who shot off an illegal gun.

Champ's only punishment was to go to Cook County's boot camp. The superintendent said that's a slap on the wrist and an insult to the officers who put their lives on the line every day. Rank and file police agree wholeheartedly.

Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said the judges are the weakest link in the system.

"They have all the discretion," Camden said. "The police department is held to a certain standard. State's attorneys are held to a standard. The judges are allowed to take a felon, with a gun, and put him in boot camp. That's absurd."

McCarthy and Mayor Emanuel said Tuesday that the laws in the state need to be tougher, so when someone is caught with a gun they serve mandatory sentences in prison.

Earlier this week, Gov. Pat Quinn offered to help Chicago police battle city violence by providing state troopers. McCarthy said the offer of state police are not the answer, and neither is the National Guard.

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore disagreed with McCarthy on the point of state troopers on Good Day Chicago Wednesday morning. He led the National Guard's response team to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"As far as the state police, they are ideally trained to be able to deal with a situation like this," Honore said. "They should be brought in. I don't know why they haven't."

The former lieutenant general questioned what kind of message that inactions sends to the public.

"What message does that tell people in Europe who are thinking about coming to Chicago, when they find out additional police haven't been deployed?" Honore asked. "That is the dilemma local government have to get past. They are in denial, they need help."

Honore said the right response would be one from the state police, not the National Guard. Not yet, anyway. He does think troopers helping to patrol the roads in Chicago would help rank and file police officers to do their job even better in the city.

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