‘People are Terrified,’ Lightfoot Claims, As Violence Carries on to Surge | Chicago News

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks about crime and violence on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (WTTW News

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks about crime and violence on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (WTTW News through Mayor’s Office environment)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot acknowledged Thursday that the surge in shootings and murders concentrated on Chicago’s South and West sides has compelled her to reset her agenda as mayor, and she vowed to believe “creatively” about how to stem the bloodshed.

“Gun violence is the selection just one issue plaguing the town in this moment,” Lightfoot explained, adding that it is the initial challenge she confronts when she wakes up in the early morning, the very last she considers at night time and the a single that wakes her up in the middle of the night. “I realize that persons are fearful.”

Talking just just before ceremonially breaking ground on a new headquarters for the Chicago Park District, Lightfoot said far too many inhabitants of the South and West sides “are just plain scared” that they will be shot and killed.

“This reality it what pains me, personally, the most,” Lightfoot claimed. “We have professional far too substantially bloodshed in this metropolis. Too quite a few funerals, and far too considerably trauma.”

Until the violence is controlled in Chicago, “nothing else matters,” said Lightfoot, who traveled to San Francisco very last week to inspire tech businesses to open up new places of work in Chicago.

Lightfoot once more insisted that crime is down this summer as opposed to summer time 2020, when the metropolis seasoned a substantial increase in crime and violence regardless of constraints made to halt the distribute of COVID-19. However, shootings are up around 60% around summer season 2019, and murders are up virtually 50% from two decades back — the past summer before the pandemic.

Metropolis officers should cease the “daily drumbeat of shootings and homicides,” Lightfoot mentioned.

“I want to reassure the public of not only my commitment, but of our solve to struggle and make confident this plague of gun violence is just one that we acquire at the time and for all,” Lightfoot explained, promising to unveil much more “specific investments” to handle the root triggers of violence as effectively as the “immediate consequences” of the violence the metropolis is dealing with.

Lightfoot blamed the violence on the flood of illegal guns into Chicago. Officers have seized extra than 6,300 guns so far this year, marking a file-breaking speed, Lightfoot claimed, vowing to “think creatively” about remedies.

Lightfoot introduced the development of a $1 million reward fund for those people who aid Chicago police officers get unlawful guns off the road. 

“We need to have everyone’s enable,” Lightfoot claimed, promising a lot more specific facts about the fund, set to be set up with taxpayer bucks, in the coming days.

In 2020, Chicago officials seized additional than 11,200 guns, according to metropolis data.

Because getting office environment, Lightfoot has referred to as on federal regulation enforcement authorities to crack down on the movement of illegal guns into Chicago. A strike force authorized by President Joe Biden is predicted to commence operating in Chicago by the finish of July.

“This crisis needs daring and imaginative motion,” Lightfoot said. “It requires far more of every of us. And as your mayor, it calls for more of me. I willingly and unapologetically acknowledge this challenge.”

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]