Chicago Mayor Responds to 80% Surge In City's Murders: 'Too Many Guns'
Democrat Lori Lightfoot signals gun control push
As violent crimes in Chicago, including shootings and homicides, soared almost 80% in June compared with last year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot put it down to "too many guns" on the streets.
NBC 5 Chicago reported the surge, with 424 people shot and 89 murdered compared to the 50 murders in 2019.
In just one weekend, there were over 60 people shot and 16 killed in Chicago under Democrat Lightfoot's watch.
Tragically, one of the victims was a 10-year-old girl who was shot by a stray bullet while “inside a Logan Square home on the Northwest Side."
Another victim included a one-year-old boy who was killed while riding in the car with his mom after another car opened fire.
In the previous weekend, more than 100 people were shot in the Democrat-controlled city over Father’s Day Weekend.
This coming fourth of July holiday weekend, the city plans to deploy 1,200 extra officers, according to WGN TV.
Mayor Lightfoot was confronted about the sharp rise violence, but the Democrat said it was “complicated."
Lightfoot suggested gun control was the solution.
“That’s a complicated question,” Lightfoot said.
“We have way too many guns on the streets.”
Lightfoot also deflected any blame against her leadership, arguing that the coronavirus shutdown was “perfect storm” while adding that the death of George Floyd as an event that sparked anger in the community.
Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzaro blamed local officials, including Lightfoot, for the violence by backing anti-police sentiment.
“When the top official in this city is blaming the police for everything that's wrong, to hide their inefficiencies and inadequacies, it definitely makes people stop and wonder, ‘What am I doing?" he asked.
" Am I going home? Am I going to have a job tomorrow? Am I going to be in jail next week?’" Catanzara said.
Officers were reportedly ordered to work 12-hour shifts with no days off until further notice.
All the while, critics — including elected officials — want to strip them of funding.
"This police system in Chicago and in the country is beyond repair, and so it’s absolutely within reason for people to say that we should tear this system down and start over,” Democratic state Rep. LaShawn Ford of Chicago said.
President Donald Trump blasted Lightfoot while pointing out Chicago had become more dangerous than the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect," Trump wrote.
"I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement."
Trump attempted to extend an olive branch to both leaders.
"If you are willing to put partisanship aside, we can revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Chicago together," Trump said.
"But to succeed, you must establish law and order."
But Mayor Lightfoot refused help, writing:
"I don't need leadership lessons from Donald Trump."
I don’t need leadership lessons from Donald Trump.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) June 27, 2020