(CNSNews.com) – An Illinois state legislator has backed away from what she said last week were “suspicions” by her constituents that Chicago police may be involved in the large number of unsolved murders in the Windy City.
Thirty homicides have been reported in Chicago so far this month, including 20 during the first week of July.
“I’m going to tell you what some suspicions have been, and people have whispered to me: They’re not sure black people are shooting all of these children,” state Rep. Monique Davis (D-27) said during a radio interview on Detroit’s WCHB-AM. “Some people in my community believe the police may be involved in some of these murders.”
Davis emphasized that she was just repeating what her constituents told her. "I believe that the police work very hard to support our community, to bring peace in our community," she said.
However, “there is some suspicion, and I don’t want to spread this, but I’m just going to tell you what I’ve been hearing. They suspect maybe the [Chicago] police are killing some of these kids,” she added.
The death toll in Chicago jumped in recent months, with a total 232 murders reported so far this year. Last weekend, six people – including a six-year-old girl – were fatally shot and 17 others wounded in another spasm of violence.
Davis initially refused to back down from her on-air comments: “My community believes that…Should I apologize for my community’s beliefs?” she asked. “As a state representative, I have every right to say what my community thinks. It isn’t maybe something people want to hear, but I have a right to say what they’re saying to me.”
The uncorroborated rumors unleashed harsh criticism from law enforcement officials.
"I think it's absurd, I think it's inflammatory. I think it's also insulting," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said as he dismissed the allegations.
It’s “the most irresponsible statement,” said Pat Camden a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, adding that Davis “ought to be ashamed of herself.”
“The rank and file are livid that an elected representative would make such a comment…It completely destroys the relationship that the Police Department is trying to build with the community,” he added.
Davis later told reporters that she did not believe the rumors herself.