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Tipsheet

Chicago Police Chief Makes Announcement in Wake of Lightfoot Defeat

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

David Brown, the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, announced his resignation one day after Democrat Lori Lightfoot became the first mayor of the city to lose a reelection bid in 40 years, largely over voter concerns about public safety. 

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“I will be stepping down as Chicago Police Superintendent effective March 16, 2023 so the incoming mayor can begin the process as soon as possible to hire the next Superintendent,” Brown said in a statement. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside the brave men and women of the Chicago Police Department.”

Rising crime was a major concern for not only residents, but business leaders in the city, many of whom decided it was better to pack up and leave altogether. 

The handwriting was on the wall for Brown, as both of the mayoral candidates who will face off in an April 4 runoff—Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas—said they’d fire him if elected. 

Brown faced a great deal of criticism for his handling of a number of issues plaguing the Windy City, from the 2020 protests in the wake of George Floyd's death to rising crime and police staffing problems. 

Joseph Ferguson, then the city’s inspector general, issued a report in 2021 detailing failures in Superintendent Brown’s response and faulting city officials for “poor coordination, inconsistency and confusion” that left the police “outflanked, underequipped and unprepared to respond to the scale of the protests and unrest with which they were met in the downtown area and across Chicago’s neighborhoods.”

During his tenure, Superintendent Brown endured complaints from rank-and-file officers, who frequently said they were exhausted and struggling with understaffing, and the pace of retirements accelerated in the last several years.

Homicides in Chicago also soared to generational highs during his time. About an hour after Superintendent Brown’s announcement on Wednesday afternoon, a police officer was killed while responding to a call of a man chasing a woman with a gun, the superintendent said.

At a news conference, Mr. Brown said the officer who died was young and had “a bright future ahead of him.” The suspect was in critical condition, he said. (NYT)

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Brown said he will take a job in Texas as a chief operating officer of a personal injury law firm. 

“I accepted his resignation and want to commend him for his accomplishments not just for the department but the entire city,” Lightfoot said in a statement. 

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