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Chicago mayor meets with city’s youth to discuss crime prevention

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(The Center Square) – Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson met with students from Whitney Young High School and said more money for policing does not stop crime.

Johnson has faced multiple violent weekends since taking office, including a Memorial Day weekend in which 11 died and more than 30 others were shot.

The mayor recently spoke to the “My Chi. My Future.” youth program and was asked what he is doing to keep Black and brown residents safe.

Johnson said more money for police does not mean safer streets.

“It’s not enough to have policing. If having police in neighborhoods automatically equates to safety, we would be the safest city in the world,” Johnson said. “Do you know that we spend more money per capita on policing than anywhere else in the world?”

According to Chicago Police statistics, total crime is up 32% over the last 28 days and carjackings are up 133% over that same time period.

Johnson said his plan to stop the violence in Chicago includes helping the neighborhoods that need it the most.

“We need to make sure we have a layered approach in the immediate, where we have strategic policing in the neighborhoods where violence is more likely to take place,” Johnson said.

Johnson looks to get jobs for young people and more funding for specific neighborhoods. He also said on the “Why Is This Happening” podcast with Chris Hayes that there needs to be a better characterization of Chicago’s young people.

“There has been a lot of mischaracterization of our young people in the city of Chicago,” Johnson said. “Do we have individuals who have lived out their pain in the most violent ways, of course, but the vast majority of our young people need and want opportunity.”

Youth homicides since Johnson has been in office have doubled since this time last year, according to a Wirepoints analysis. Chicago has seen nine teens under 19 die from violence in the past month compared to four during the same time frame last year.

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