At last night’s WGN Mayoral Debate, moderator Tahman Bradley asked the candidates how they would hold repeat gun offenders accountable for their crimes. While Paul Vallas described in detail how he would utilize federal charging statutes to take repeat gun offenders off the streets, Brandon Johnson refused to provide any answer at all, raising questions on whether or not he would prioritize prosecuting dangerous criminals to the full extent of the law.
Below is a transcript of the exchange:
Bradley: Mr. Johnson, same question, 60 seconds, what should be the consequences for people repeatedly arrested and charged with gun crimes?
Johnson: Look, here’s the problem. Someone like Paul Vallas that wants to continue to give someone like me a lecture about what I know vs. what he knows is ridiculous, but I’m familiar with that.
As the Chicago Tribune reported: “At one point, Johnson was asked what consequences individuals who are repeatedly charged with gun crimes should face but he did not answer the question.”
Johnson went on to once again wrongly state that it takes two years to become a Chicago police officer, which has been thoroughly debunked by Vallas and the press. He did not address the serious issue of repeat gun offenders being let off on misdemeanors, which Vallas believes is contributing to the city’s crime problem.
“We already know that Brandon Johnson wants to defund the police, but now he won’t even say whether he would push prosecutors to pursue all possible criminal charges against the repeat gun offenders who are terrorizing many of our communities,” said Vallas. “As Mayor I will work with the city, county, state and federal prosecutors to ensure that we are doing everything possible to put repeat violent offenders in jail and get them off our streets and away from our residents. If Brandon Johnson doesn’t agree with that, then that’s absolutely disqualifying.”