Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants federal help to stem gun violence

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants federal help to stem gun violence

Forget about defunding the police — these mayors now want to re-fund law enforcement.

In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly pleaded with the feds on Monday to bolster the ranks of her city’s cops amid a surge in shootings and homicides.

Lightfoot — who last year proposed cutting $80 million from the city’s police budget — called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to send agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to the Windy City for a six-month crackdown on illegal guns.

“We cannot continue to endure the level of violence that we are now experiencing,” Lightfoot said during a 40-minute speech.

“I feel the urgency every day.”

The desperation move made Lightfoot — who’s said she opposes the “defund the police” movement — the second big-city Democratic mayor in days to announce dramatic steps to restore law and order as crime spirals out of control.

On Dec. 14, progressive San Francisco Mayor London Breed — who last year pledged to shift $120 million from the city’s law-enforcement budget to social spending — reversed course during a speech in which she vowed to end “the reign of criminals who are destroying our city.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Mayor Lightfoot called on judges to immediately stop releasing defendants with ankle bracelets following their arrests for violent crimes.
fox 32 chicago

“We need to change course on how we handle public safety in San Francisco,” Breed wrote in an essay published the same day on the Medium website.

“We can’t be a place where anything goes on the street.”

Breed added: “That’s why we will need a budget supplemental to help fund SFPD overtime through the rest of the fiscal year, so they can keep doing the critical work they do every day.”

Three days later, Breed also declared a state of emergency over the “rapidly deteriorating conditions” — including a spike in fatal drug overdoses — in San Francisco’s infamous Tenderloin District.

In Chicago, the number of shooting victims reached 4,270 on Sunday, up nearly 9 percent from the 3,930 people shot during the same period last year, according to police statistics obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Meanwhile, homicides have increased 5 percent, from 749 to 783, making the Windy City the deadliest in the nation.

“Right now, today, there are simply too many violent people walking our streets and wreaking havoc in our neighborhoods,” Lightfoot said Monday.

She added: “I know that people are scared and emotions…on public safety, and specifically gun violence, including carjackings, are running high.”

Although Chicago is far behind its 1970 record of 964 killings, at least a dozen cities across the US have already seen more murders than ever this year, including Philadelphia; Columbus, Ohio; and Rochester, NY.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed talks about the first confirmed case of the omicron variant.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed is another mayor who has switched stances on police funding amid growing crime rates.
AP / Eric Risberg

In addition to calling for additional ATF agents be deployed to Chicago, Lightfoot — who said the city was “awash” in guns — said more federal prosecutors would be needed to handle the “new cases that will be generated.”

Lightfoot also called on Garland to send extra deputy US marshals to help Chicago cops and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office track down wanted suspects.

“We need these additional resources well in advance of summer,” she said.

Lightfoot further called on judges to immediately stop releasing defendants with ankle bracelets following their arrests for violent crimes including murder and kidnapping, calling the electronic monitoring system “fundamentally broken.”

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