Mayor Lori Lightfoot asks for federal help to fight violent crime in Chicago

In a speech Monday, Democratic mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot called on federal officials to help her slow gun violence in the city and eliminate or at least reduce its root causes.

Lightfoot asked U.S. Attorney General to mobilize agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive to assist her.

“Keeping you safe is my priority – not one of, but the first and primary priority,” Lightfoot said to her constituents. “I wake up every morning with this as my first concern and I push myself and all involved to step up and do more and better because we cannot continue to endure the level of violence that we are now experiencing.” 

Lightfoot also requested that Cook County judges cease releasing those detainees who had been charged with violent crimes like murder, aggravated gun possession, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, and kidnaping on electric monitoring.

Solutions that had been proposed by Lightfoot, none of which are categorized as new strategies, were called “regressive” and “clearly unconstitutional” by critics of her propositions.

The speech came as in the midst of Chicago police data revealing that 3,411 shootings took place in 2021 as of earlier in December, which reflected a 9 percent increase from last year.

Sharone Mitchell, Cook County Public Defender, said the mayor “diagnosed the very real root causes of violence, the solutions were textbook policymaking based on fear.” She went on to say, “The mayor’s regressive proposal calls for the pretrial detention of thousands of people who haven’t been convicted of anything and the plan could only be achieved by exploding the population of Cook County Jail in the middle of a pandemic.”

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