Brandon Johnson ignores the Chicago City Council's vote: "I canceled ShotSpotter, it's canceled"

The mayor assured that the city council does not have the authority to make decisions about the gunshot detection system.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson announced that the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system's days are numbered despite the city council's efforts to preserve it.

This Wednesday, with 34 votes in favor and 14 against, the city council passed a measure that requires their approval to remove the system. 

ShotSpotter, from SoundThinking, consists of a network of acoustic sensors that alert the police when shots are fired. The objective is to improve response times and provide data on incidents not reported to 911. 

The mayor announced in February that he would not renew the contract with SoundThinking, promising more "effective" strategies in exchange. The system sparked controversy due to its price. According to CBS News, it costs $217,368.42 per person arrested thanks to its alerts. It was also the target of criticism from the left for supposedly harming minorities, since, they claim, the detection devices are mostly located in minority communities, even though the location of these sensors is secret.

In February, Johnson announced that he would make good on his campaign promise to remove ShotSpotter but would delay the removal until after the Democratic National Convention in September. That decision was also controversial. People who are in favor of the system claimed if it was good enough for keeping the Democrats who gathered in the city safe, why wouldn't it be good for the neighbors who live there every day?

Johnson dismisses councilors

"If one life is saved because of ShotSpotter, then one life is saved," said Councilman Nicholas Sposato after the vote, in a statement reported by CBS News. "All of the experts who lead people in law enforcement who actually use the technology, and the vast majority of people who live in communities where it is deployed agree that ShotSpotter is a vital tool," said city council member Silvana Tabares.

The councilors who want to maintain the system claim that the initiative they just approved would help monitor the effectiveness of the system. The measure requires the police department to collect data on, among other things, the number of incidents that were reported thanks to ShotSpotter, meaning cases without a 911 call, and how many times it was used to provide aid to victims. With that information in hand, they say, they will be able to better decide the future of the system.

According to Johnson, ShotSpotter's fate is sealed. According to him, its ineffectiveness has already been proven. The Democrat claimed that the city council's order was worthless: "This particular measure that was voted on today did nothing... the city council, the legislative body, does not have executive authority."

The mayor stated that he is the only one who can sign contracts on behalf of the city.

"I canceled ShotSpotter. It's canceled."